Outspoken Napoli chairman, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has revealed that Arsenal made a failed attempt to sign Gonzalo Higuain this summer before he joined Juventus.
The Gunners were in the market for a new attacking weapon to bolster Arsene Wenger’s options in the final third, with Lucas Perez joining in a £17.1 million deal from Deportivo La Coruna close to the end of the transfer window.
However, it appears that the Spaniard was a potential back-up option for the North London club, with Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas admitting the French club rejected an Arsenal approach for Alexandre Lacazette.
“We received a request from Arsenal,” the Italian told the London Evening Standard.
Personally I also received a request from Atlético Madrid, but they didn’t put enough money on the table. We were not ready to sell him – for me Higuain was not for sale. One year earlier I offered another five year contract to Higuain and his brother. ‘I will offer to you x’. It was more money than what he is getting right now from Juventus.
Higuain was hot property in the transfer market over the summer after leading the Serie A scoring charts last term with an incredible 36 goals for Napoli.
Juventus activated his €90 million release to facilitate his move from Naples to Turin and the Argentina international has started this term with six goals in seven Serie A games.
Arsenal fans have called for Wenger to splurge on a big-name striker over recent years, with a collective feeling that current centre-forward incumbent, Olivier Giroud, cannot score enough goals to fire the club to major silverware.
Perez joins off the back of netting 17 times in La Liga for Deportivo last season, but attacking midfielder, Alexis Sanchez, has been preferred to lead the line domestically and in Europe in recent times.
Arsenal were also linked with Higuain during his time at Real Madrid, with it now looking highly unlikely that the South American hitman will ever wear the Gunners colours.
Despite Wenger’s attacking unit largely remaining the same as last season, the North London team have scored 16 goals in seven Premier League games this season.