Arsenal look set to miss out on another of their top targets after Juventus reportedly agreed a four-year contract with Gonzalo Higuain worth €7million a year.
The Argentina striker is seeking a move away from Napoli this summer and had been linked with a move to the Gunners as part of a swap deal involving Olivier Giroud, although the €94m valuation (£78million) they had put on his head was proving a major sticking point.
Juventus, however, have now leapt to the front of the queue by agreeing personal terms with the player, according to reports in the Italian press, which will see him earn £5.8million a year on a contract until the summer of 2020.
They must first, however, agree a deal with their Serie A rivals – and look set to offer a number of players as part of the package.
Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta will meet with Napoli officials to discuss a potential deal in the coming days, with midfielder Roberto Pereyra and promising centre-back Daniele Rugani – who has been linked with Arsenal and Everton – likely to be offered as part of the deal.
Juventus’ pursuit of a player of Higuain’s cost and calibre is likely to heighten speculation around the future of Paul Pogba, who has been linked with a £100m move to Manchester United.
Higuain has been linked to a number of clubs this summer after scoring 36 goals in 35 games in the Italian top flight last season.