Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has expressed hope that Gonzalo Higuain will stay at the Stadio San Paolo for at least five more years amid interest from a plethora of potential suitors, including Premier League trio Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. The Argentine striker has proved a resounding hit since arriving in Serie A from Real Madrid in July 2013, enhancing his reputation as a prolific scorer and also lifting the Coppa Italia.
After scoring frequently throughout his first two seasons in Naples, Higuain took things a step further last term and, with 36 strikes to his name in just 35 appearances, managed to break former AC Milan and AS Roma forward Gunnar Nordahl's 66-year old record for the most goals netted in a single Italian league campaign.
"If his words are sincere then Higuain will play in Naples for at least another five years," De Laurentiis told Radio Kiss Kiss, as reported by Marca. "I am willing to extend his contract, I appreciate him both as a player and a person. I would like him to stay in Naples forever.
"He is one of a kind, he plays for the pleasure of scoring goals which is what makes every genuine and self-respecting attacker."
Such undeniably impressive exploits have only served to further increase the wealth of transfer speculation surrounding the 28-year-old, who bagged a brace for his country on Saturday (18 June) as the 2015 runners-up booked a semi-final date with hosts the United States at the Copa America Centenario with a 4-1 victory over Venezuela in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Illustrious teammate Lionel Messi also notched his fourth of the tournament at Gillette Stadium to draw level with Gabriel Batistuta as La Albiceleste's all-time leading scorer with 54.
As interest in Higuain continues to heat up, The Mirror claimed last month that the player was interested in a move to Liverpool and would be eager to play under charismatic manager Jurgen Klopp. Napoli legend Jose Alberti also recently suggested that both Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain had made lucrative offers of their own, while the Daily Mail have previously stipulated that the former River Plate frontman is ready to forgo Champions League football and complete a £42m ($61.8m) switch to Chelsea, but is first eager to seek assurances that he will be first choice ahead of Diego Costa.
Atletico Madrid are the latest team to be mentioned in connection with a possible deal for Higuain, with manager Diego Simeone said to have informed chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin of his desire to sign him during a meeting in Buenos Aires. However, that interest has now been denied by director Andrea Berta, despite Corriere dello Sport speculating that an offer of €60m plus Matias Kranevitter had already been tabled.