Benitez happy to land Higuain

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

Last Updated: 25/07/13 at 08:56 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Christian Benteke has buy-out clause in contract, Tim Sherwood reveals

Post comment

Tim Sherwood has revealed Aston Villa might have no choice but to let Christian Benteke leave this summer because of a buy-out clause in his contract.

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has no plans to sell Benteke

Post comment

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood says he has no plans to sell Christian Benteke and wants the Belgian to stay at the club.

All Articles

Gonzalo Higuain: On brink of move to Nap

Gonzalo Higuain: On brink of move to Nap

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

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."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Hamburg held at home by Karlsruher in Bundesliga relegation battle

Hamburg's Bundesliga future hangs in the balance after they drew 1-1 in their play-off first-leg.

Christian Benteke has buy-out clause in contract, Tim Sherwood reveals

Tim Sherwood has revealed Aston Villa might have no choice but to let Christian Benteke leave this summer because of a buy-out clause in his contract.

Uruguay union to challenge FIFA ban on Luis Suarez

The Uruguay players' union wants FIFA to rescind Luis Suarez's international ban after claiming him to be a victim of alleged corruption within the body.

Mail Box

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

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