Manchester United and Arsenal have suffered a blow after Napoli have made it clear that striker Gonzalo Higuain will only be sold if an interested club meets the full valuation of the release clause in his contract.
The Argentinean striker, who is currently on duty with his national team at the Copa America, has a hefty release clause, which is worth around €94.7m (£67m, $105.5m) and the Napoli are adamant that interested clubs meet their valuation.
Higuain has been impressive since his move to the Serie A from Real Madrid in 2013. He has an enviable goal scoring record for Napoli scoring 35 goals in 69 league games since his arrival, but despite his final day heroics last season, the Naples-based outfit failed to qualify for the Champions League, prompting speculation regarding his impending departure.
"Napoli are keen to make an official clarification based on some newspapers' claims in articles about the potential transfer of Higuain," said a statement released by the club, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"The club stresses that the Argentine has an existing contract clause of €94,736,000 [£67 million]. No bids below that figure will be accepted, those who want the player will have to match that valuation," the report added.
Arsenal were actively linked with a move for the striker, with a report in the Gazzetta Dello Sport indicating that the Gunners were preparing a £29m ($45.6m) offer to bring the Argentine international to the Emirates Stadium.
While a Daily Mail report suggested that United were also after the striker with Louis van Gaal looking to bolster his forward line, which struggled to score goals in the last campaign. The Red Devils experienced their second lowest goal tally in the Premier League era, making a striker signing, a priority for the Dutch manager.
However, their hopes have been dashed by the Serie A club, after they quashed all media speculation regarding their star forward and reminded all interested clubs of the player's release clause.