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Transfer Truth: More New Developments on Higuain to Arsenal

Posted on Jul 18th, 2013 by Matt Styrka

Two new developments have hit the news wires which could seriously jeopardise Arsenal's bid for Gonzalo Higuian, that's if there ever was a bid in the first place!

Higuain: Transfer Truth: 65%
This deal has looked so close to completion for such a long time now that Arsenal supporters must be growing tired with it. Up until 7 days ago we had increased our truth rating on this transfer with every story, as each provided solid quotes from key parties that deal was on the cards. Last week we dropped our rating by just a tad based on quotes from the Real Madrid president that Arsenal had never made a bid for Higuain and that Real Madrid wanted him to stay anyway.

Today we are dropping the truth rating by an even bigger amount, as Real Madrid have reiterated their desire to keep Higuain. With Real president Florentino Perez having vocalised his thoughts last week, this time it's the turn of agent Ernesto Bronzetti, who helped bring Ancelotti to Madrid:

In regards to Higuain, Ancelotti does not want to discard him. Real Madrid, then, would not want to give up the player and I have to say that the Spanish club never takes players who have passed the age of thirty, so Ibrahimovic can not come.

This backs up the notion that Ancelotti's arrival may have swerved Higuian's direction, even though when we initially reported this story Higuain clearly said he had made the decision to leave:

I am leaving Real Madrid, the decision has been made. I have not decided where I will go, but the club already know that I want to go. I feel that my time here is over, so I want a change of scenery after seven intense years.

This was later backed up by his father who claimed a deal with Arsenal and Juventus had been reached. The latest comments blow this out of the water, it seems Higuain may have had a change of heart.

Napoli Interest
If there ever was an Arsenal bid in place, then even that has come under serious threat. Having finally got gotten their €64.5m bounty for Cavani, Napoli now have a massive transfer budget to spend this summer and their president, De Laurentiis recently admitted that Napoli are in negotiations for Higuian. In a Twitter Q and A session, he said:

It's true that we're negotiating for Gonzalo Higuain and Leandro Damiao. The money we got for Cavani was 64.5mil and added to the 60mil we had set aside for the transfer budget there will be 124.5mil to carefully invest on Napoli.

It can be difficult to believe everything De Laurentiis says, only yesterday he claimed to have inside knowledge of the transfer dealings at 5 European clubs when speaking about a possible move for Ibrahimovic to Chelsea, but it is also very difficult to ignore such explicit statements and we must therefore take them in to account.

This also appears to make logical sense, if Napoli are negotiating for Huguain it may well explain why Arsenal's hot pursuit has suddenly gone so cold.

Our Truth-o-meter
The revelations from Napoli president De Laurentiis that his club are negotiating for Higuain does increase the over all chance of a transfer, but perhaps more powerful than this is insistance from multiple, official, Real Madrid sources that the club have had no offer for Higuain and that in any case Ancelotti now wants to keep him. So we feel we have to drop our truth rating on this one down to 65%, even if the player himself has stated he has decided to leave.

The chances of Arsenal signing Higuain have also taken a big blow on two counts, firstly Napoli's interest and secondly Real's desires. So we are left with little choice but to drop the chances of an Arsenal move from 70% down to 50%. It's a big body blow for Arsenal supporters, but 50% is still a very good chance, far higher than we normally give transfer rumours. The only difference Arsenal have now gone from heavy favourites to even money at best.

Likeliness of Signing: 50%
Fit at Club: 85%

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