Monday July 18 2016
ADL: ‘Juventus won’t buy Higuain’

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis insists Juventus “never had any intention” of activating Gonzalo Higuain’s release clause as “they’re a club with class”.

The Bianconeri have been heavily linked with the striker, and it has been suggested that they have an agreement in place with the player.

However, the Vesuviani are unwilling to negotiate with the Turin side, and their President says the €94m release clause won’t be activated.

“There has never been contact between Juventus and Napoli,” De Laurentiis insisted when leaving the Lega Serie A meeting.

“The Bianconeri never had any intention of paying the release clause, nor have we asked them to.

"I asked Marotta: 'do you really want to pay the clause?' and he told me they never had any intention of doing so. There’s a contract of five years and we've only had three, the ignorance in the world of football is total.

"There's a release clause, according to which if someone says 'we'll pay it', Higuain can accept the offer from any club and Napoli will only accept those offers.

"The clause was inserted to protect ourselves, because the higher the clause the more someone has to pay. No club has offered it so far and Higuain hasn't said anything.

"This whole world of stupid things to sell your newspapers is bad for the fans, you should apologise. There are desperate people, but I'm not selling anyone.

“Whoever wants him can pay the clause. Juventus never had any intention of doing so. I don't know if something will change but [Juve general manager Giuseppe] Marotta is smart and knows perfectly well they can't do this great wrong and that it's a losing battle.

"Gonzalo is on holiday, he's due here on July 25 and I haven't heard from him yet. I'm convinced that Juventus are a club with class and won't interfere with that, or they'd become a very unpleasant club."

De Laurentiis was also asked about Napoli's pursuit of Bianconeri man Roberto Pereyra.

"Pereyra is out of play. Simone Zaza? We have a lot of strikers. The transfer window is long."