Higuain: Mou wants me at Chelsea
The Argentine striker has been tipped to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer and has previously been linked to several clubs in Europe. Higuain has now been quoted as saying that Chelsea are also interested in a deal, having played under Mourinho at Real.
"Mourinho wants me there," Higuain is quoted as saying by AS.
At the end of last term Higuain was tipped to join Juventus but when that move broke down he made it clear that he had made his mind up to leave Madrid. That led to Arsenal being strongly linked to a move, while Rafa Benitez's Napoli have also been associated with viewing the forward as a replacement for Edinson Cavani.
With Madrid unwilling to let their star go on the cheap, the Spanish giants put a €40million price tag on his head and that is well within Chelsea's spending budget. AS add that while Mourinho has stated his admiration for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, and insisted he is Chelsea's only summer transfer target, that is a smokescreen to reveal that he wants to strengthen his front line at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho is a big fan of Higuain and used him as a regular striker during his three years as head coach at Real Madrid. However, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis prepares to reinvest the funds generated by Edinson Cavani's sale to Paris Saint-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 available to new coach Rafael Benitez in the current transfer window.
Cavani moved to the Parc des Princes for €64.5million and a chunk of that fee could now be paid to Real for their wantaway Argentine 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 teammate 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 forward line 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 semifinal? 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."