Napoli chief Aurelio de Laurentiis has confirmed that Arsenal along with Atletico Madrid had enquired about signing Gonzalo Higuain in the summer but both the clubs did not offer enough in terms of remuneration to tempt the Serie A club into parting with their forward. The Argentine forward eventually joined Juventus after the Italian champions matched his €94m (£84.6m, $105.2m) release clause.
The Gunners were actively seeking to strengthen their forward line this summer, and had sounded out a number of targets. Higuain was one of Arsene Wenger's preferred targets, but Napoli were insistent that he would be sold only if interested clubs meet his buyout clause, which Arsenal was not willing to match. The north London club also had a bid rejected for Alexandre Lacazette and eventually signed Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna.
De Laurentiis admitted that his club were not keen to sell their top marksman and had offered him a new deal, but the former Real Madrid forward showed keenness in making the move, and it was sanctioned after Juventus matched his exit clause. The Serie A side have replaced the Argentina international with Arkadiusz Milik, who was signed from Ajax and the Polish forward has begun life in Italy in fine fashion scoring seven goals in nine appearances thus far.
"We were not ready to sell him – for me Higuain was not for sale [Juventus would ultimately meet his buyout clause]."
"One year earlier I offered another five year contract to Higuain and his brother. 'I will offer to you x'. It was more money than what he is getting right now from Juventus," the Naples club's chief added.