Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed his disappointment at losing out to Napoli in the race to sign Gonzalo Higuain.
The Gunners were heavily linked with a move for the Argentine but saw their efforts scuppered by Napoli who moved early and made a bigger offer. The north London club were favourites to land the striker but their fruitless pursuit of Luis Suarez allowed the Italian club to sneak in.
Arsenal will face Napoli in a crucial tie at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday in their second group game of the Champions League. The Gunners are currently joint top in the group table with Napoli while Borussia Dortmund and Marseille remain in contention in what has been called this year's group of death. Wenger's side have secured an away win against Marseille and a win here will make them favourites to qualify from the group, for the 13th year in succession.
"We were working on two or three targets and he was one of them. It didn't come off in the end, that doesn't take anything away from his quality. Napoli took advantage of that at the right moment, it's more about timing as well. In the end Real Madrid sold two great players, one of them went to Napoli, one [Mesut Ozil] went to Arsenal so it's 1-1 on that front," Wenger told www.arsenal.com.
Meanwhile, Wenger has warned the Gunners that they will face their toughest test against a resurgent Napoli side and wants to close down the counter attacks that are the Italians' biggest asset.
"He [Insigne] is mobile, he is not tall but quick and very good in the transition from defence to attack. He is a good dribbler as well and is an intelligent mover. That makes him an interesting prospect," Wenger explained.
"That's what struck me as well in the Emirates Cup - when they win the ball they come out very quickly with Callejon, Hamsik, Insigne and Higuain, [who] come out like bombs all the time they win the ball. The transition from our side from offence to defence will have to be very quick," he said.