Napoli have described reports linking Gonzalo Higuain with a shock transfer to Serie A rivals Juventus as “nonsense”.
The Argentina international scored a stunning 36 goals in Serie A last season – 17 more than any other player as Maurizio Sarri’s men finished second in the table.
Arsenal have been strongly linked with a move for Higuain, with suggestions they will include Olivier Giroud in a deal to tempt Napoli to sell.
Italian champions Juve then emerged as surprise contenders sign the 28-year-old, with reports suggesting an agreement over personal terms was in place and confusion reigning over whether a €94million release clause in his contract remains valid.
Higuain’s agent and brother Nicolas said last month that his client would not be renewing his contract with Napoli, which still has two years to run.
But president Aurelio De Laurentiis has repeatedly insisted he will not sell, and told Sky Italia of the rumours linking Higuain with Juventus: “It is just nonsense.”
De Laurentiis’ son Edo, who is vice-president, added to TuttoNapoli: “It is just a hoax and you must not believe everything.”
Reports in Italy on Friday suggest Napoli are preparing a final contract offer in a bid to prevent Higuain from leaving ahead of the new season.