MILAN: Gonzalo Higuain completed his move to Juventus after the Italian champions reportedly agreed to pay a 94.7m euros ($104m) buyout clause to wrest the Argentine striker from Napoli on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).
In what could become the biggest ever transfer between Serie A clubs, Higuain’s move to Turin was published on the ‘transfers’ section of the official Serie A website www.seriea.it.
Napoli had slapped a 94.7m euros buyout clause on Higuain’s contract after he hit a record 36 goals in the league last season.
But after weeks of negotiations, Juventus finally buckled to capture the 28-year-old striker whom they believe can make the difference between success and failure in the Champions League next season.
Reports on Tuesday said Juve CEO Beppe Marotta had negotiated with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis to pay the transfer fee over two installments.
After leaving the offices of Serie A, Marotta gave no details when asked by waiting media but confirmed the move when he said: “We’ve deposited Higuain’s contract [with league officials]. We’ve concluded everything.”
Higuain will be expected to partner fellow Argentina striker Paulo Dybala, who in his maiden season with Juventus was their top scorer with 19 league goals, when the club return from their pre-season tour of Australia.
The transfer of Higuain, who cost Napoli 40m euros when he arrived from Real Madrid in 2013, could now spark a succession of other, high profile transfers.
Italian media reports have claimed Juventus would sign Higuain if they convinced Manchester United to meet their asking price of 125m euros for star midfielder Paul Pogba.
Napoli, who finished runners-up to Juventus to secure their place in next season’s Champions League, are now in the hunt for a top striker with Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi top of their shopping list.
Higuain’s arrival in Turin, meanwhile, will add fresh impetus to their ambition of winning the Champions League.
Juventus reached the final in 2015 only to be outclassed in a 3-1 defeat in Berlin to Barcelona.