Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina and Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain are on the verge of joining S.S.C. Napoli after both players passed their respective medicals on Wednesday, according to club president Aurelio De Laurentiis.
“Higuain and Reina have passed their medicals and will soon join the group,” De Laurentiis said via Twitter.
“We can say that we’ve worked really hard but we’re not stopping there!”
According to reports, Higuain is set to join Napoli for an initial transfer fee of €37 million, plus an additional €3 million in add-ons and bonuses.
The Argentina international, 25, has been linked with Arsenal and Juventus this summer, but Napoli appear to have won the race for the 25-year-old talisman.
Higuain, who bagged 16 goals and five assists in 28 league appearances for Los Blancos last term, will lead the attacking line for the Azzurri next season, replacing PSG-bound striker Edinson Cavani.
Cavani, the top scorer in Serie A with 29 goals in 34 league appearances in 2012/13, joined Paris Saint-Germain for a record fee of €64 million earlier this month.
In addition, Liverpool shot-stopper Pepe Reina has agreed to a season-long loan deal with Napoli, reuniting the Spain international with former Reds’ manager Rafael Benitez.
“He’s delighted to rediscover the coach Benitez who he knows from five years in Spain and England and with whom he worked very well,” said Reina’s agent Manuel Quilon.
The exit of Reina, albeit a temporary switch, means that Belgium international goalkeeper Simon Mignolet — who joined Liverpool from Sunderland in a deal reportedly worth £9 million this summer — will be Brendan Rodgers’ No. 1 choice next season.
Gustavo wants Bayern stay
Brazil international midfielder Luiz Gustavo has revealed he wants to stay at Bayern Munich next season despite reported interest from Arsenal and VfL Wolfsburg, Sky Sports understands.
Gustavo, 26, netted four goals in 35 appearances in all competitions for the European champions last season.
The arrival of Thiago Alcântara has casted a shadow of doubt on the long-term future of the 26-year-old, who current contract expires in the summer of 2015.
Gustavo is currently valued at around £15 million, meaning that Arsenal will — in all likelihood — initially submit an insulting bid for the Brazil international.
The Gunners have already missed out on transfer target Gonzalo Higuain after tabling a cheeky £40 million plus £1 bid for Liverpool ace Luis Suarez.
However, as usual, the joke is on the North Londoners, who are the only top-five club in the Premier League that have failed to add to their squad this summer.
Some things never change.