Benitez happy to land Higuain

Napoli boss Rafael Benitez believes incoming striker signing Gonzalo Higuain will take the ambitious Serie A club to the next level.

Last Updated: 25/07/13 at 09:59 Post Comment

Gonzalo Higuain: On brink of move to Napoli

Gonzalo Higuain: On brink of move to Napoli

Argentinian striker Higuain, 25, is on the verge of signing a five-year contract at the Stadio San Paolo for a reported 40million euro (£34.5million) fee while Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina, 30, prepares to reunite with his former Reds manager on a season-long loan deal.

The duo passed medicals at the Villa Stuart sport clinic in Rome on Wednesday afternoon and, according to Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, will be presented to fans at "a big party" ahead of a friendly match against Galatasaray on Monday night.

Benitez knows Reina well, having brought the Spain international to Anfield from Villarreal in 2005, but he is particularly excited to work with Higuain, who has scored 107 league goals in six seasons with Real Madrid.

Benitez told the Corriere dello Sport: "We were looking for a quality player. We were looking for someone playing at the highest level.

"We have signed a player who comes from Real Madrid and we have signed a striker who has scored a hatful of goals and who will adapt very well to our system - an attacking system. We needed a player like this.

"We are all working together to ensure the players we want arrive. We have to sign players who will do well for Napoli for the next three or four years."

Benitez, who succeeded Walter Mazzarri at the San Paolo in June, has already signed winger Dries Mertens from PSV Eindhoven and both forward Jose Callejon and defender Raul Albiol from Real Madrid.

Last year's Serie A runners-up are rebuilding for both a title challenge and a Champions League campaign, and the recent flurry of transfer activity has been sparked by the arrival of the 64million euros (£55million) earned from striker Edinson Cavani's transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

"Players who come from clubs like Real, PSV and Liverpool can only do us good," Benitez said.

"We have a great squad already, Mazzarri did great work, but we can move forward. For Napoli these signings represent a quantum leap."

Should the moves go through, Higuain and Reina could appear for Napoli against Arsenal in next month's Emirates Cup.

The pre-season event is being hosted by the Gunners, who had been strongly linked with a move for the Argentinian this summer, on the weekend of August 3-4.

Higuain declared his intention to leave the Santiago Bernabeu towards the end of the 2012-13 season, while Reina's chances of first-team football at Anfield appeared increasingly limited following the arrival of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland.

On Wednesday night Reina took to his official Twitter account to say goodbye to Reds fans.

He wrote: "Thank you all for your messages... in the next few days I will be able to bid you a proper farewell."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

G

ood lord that's got me unnecessarily excited. Damn you Storey. Cut to Liverpool being crushed under the wheels of Sparky's Stoke Machine and Firmino brought off the bench to no effect. It's the hope that kills you.

suarez_blind
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

N

o Schweini? Have to admit that I did a little sex wee when we signed him and I can't wait to see him in action!!!

spence
F365's Top Ten Players We Can't Wait To Watch

I

think he'll do quite well. My only reservation would be Kagawa, who had similar stats to Firmino in the bundesliga before he came, but time will tell.

GVMUFC
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

Footer 365

Manchester City agree £14m fee with Roma for Edin Dzeko

Sky sources understand Manchester City have agreed a £14m fee with Roma for striker Edin Dzeko.

Angel Di Maria is 'very happy' to join PSG from Manchester United

Angel Di Maria's move to PSG from Manchester United looks set to go through after he expressed happiness at the deal.

Liverpool's Jordon Ibe says he needs more end product

Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe says he must be looking contribute a goal or assist in every game he plays.

Mail Box

Louis Van Gaal Only Wants Football Robots

Louis van Gaal only wants players who are human robots, apparently. It's a great Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Audi Cup, Fabregas, Lingard and Joe Gomez...

Is Jack Wilshere The New Diaby?

This was supposed to be his season but he is already injured. We have mails on Chelsea, TV football, why Raheem Sterling is worth more than ADM and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company