Arsenal’s hunt for a world class striker has taken a new turn with Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio suggesting that the club is considering putting in a bid close to £50 million for Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain with Olivier Giroud as makeweight in the deal.
Higuain is one of many strikers including Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Olympique Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette who have been rumored to be on Arsenal’s radar. The Argentine striker scored a Serie A record 36 goals last season as Napoli finished second to Juventus.
Arsene Wenger is famous for having a tight grip on the wallet and is not the kind of manager to immediately meet asking prices no matter how steep they are.
Higuain’s Real Madrid pedigree in addition to his outstanding goalscoring record for Napoli obviously commands a high transfer fee for the striker.
Il Pipita is just a year younger than Giroud and Wenger would be wary of shelling out the asking price of £72 million even for such an accomplished striker. Higuain’s performances in the Copa America Centennario is also cause for concern with the No.9 missing easy chances in the final that Argentina went on to lose on penalties, despite chipping in with 4 goals in the group and knock-out stages.
The former Real Madrid striker would definitely add more pace and slightly higher consistency of finishing, besides an ability to run at defenders with the ball around the box that Arsenal currently lack.
Giroud has also had a mixed international tournament with hosts France at Euro 2016, where he ended up with the Bronze Boot for his 3 goals and 2 assists in the tournament.
However, both strikers have gone missing for their teams in the big games and there is some doubt as to whether Higuain will be a definite improvement on Giroud’s return of 24 goals for the Gunners last season.
This swap deal also seems highly likely because Napoli’s coach Maurizio Sarri is apparently interested in the 29-year-old Giroud and was in attendance at the Stade de France on Sunday as Portugal beat France in extra-time.
West Ham are also reportedly looking to bolster their options following the free transfer of Sofiane Feghouli to join man-in-form Dimitri Payet and have reportedly put in a £60 million bid for the striker.