Premier League

Cashed-up Napoli want Higuain

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Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:15:00

Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain is a key target for Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis as he prepares to reinvest the funds generated by Edinson Cavani's sale to Paris St Germain.

De Laurentiis, who on Tuesday night expressed his disappointment Uruguayan striker Cavani had opted to leave Italy, tempered the news by revealing he has now made 124.5million euros (£108m) available to new coach Rafael Benitez in the current transfer window.

Cavani moved to the Parc des Princes for 64.5m euros (£56m) and a chunk of that fee could now be paid to Real for their wantaway Argentinian forward Higuain, who has also been linked with Premier League club Arsenal.

Quoted in La Repubblica Sport, De Laurentiis admitted in a question and answer session with fans on his official Twitter account that he is pursuing Higuain, his Madrid team-mate Raul Albiol and Internacional striker Leandro Damiao.

He said: "It's true that we're negotiating for Gonzalo Higuain and Leandro Damiao.

"The money we got for Cavani was 64.5mil and added to the 60mil we had set aside for the transfer budget there will be 124.5mil to carefully invest on Napoli.

"There are various names on the table, we're assessing the situation.

"(Albiol) is undergoing medical tests and we hope he passes them."

Napoli have already signed Belgian winger Dries Mertens from PSV Eindhoven and Real striker Jose Callejon as Benitez plots another Serie A title challenge, after the Partenopei finished second to Juventus under Walter Mazzarri last season.

The Bianconeri have not been resting on their laurels, however, adding prolific duo Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente to their frontline in recent weeks.

"Is there an area of the team where we're better than Juventus?" De Laurentiis added. "It's too early to tell.

"Are we targeting the Scudetto or a Champions League semi-final? We're always aiming for the maximum and we'll be competitive both in Italy and in Europe.

"Benitez was an excellent appointment and the new boys are settling in."

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