Gonzalo Higuain completed his move from Napoli to Juventus in a deal which makes him the third most expensive player of all-time. With the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea linked with a move for the Argentina international, Juventus jumped ahead by agreeing a deal worth a staggering â‚¬90million (Â£75.3m).
Considering the amount that Juventus paid for the striker, it looks likely that the sale of Paul Pogba to Manchester United is close, and if that move goes through, Higuain will become the fourth most expensive player in history. A world record fee has been mooted for the France midfielder, and while Manchester United and Juventus are still to agree on the final amount, it looks likely that a transfer will be done sooner rather than later.
However, Juventus have decided not to wait for that particular move to be completed, going ahead with the Higuain transfer and with it making a serious statement. Higuain's purchase not only strengthens their forwardline, which had been short on numbers following the exit of Alvaro Morata to Real Madrid, but considerably weakens one of their biggest rivals in Italy as well, with Napoli losing their chief goalscorer, who set a Serie A record with 36 strikes last season.
Higuain, in terms of transfer fee, now only sits behind Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, who were bought by Real Madrid from Tottenham and Manchester United for Â£85m and Â£80m respectively.
The 28-year-old underwent a secret medical last Friday and has now agreed on a contract which will keep him at the club till 2021. "Juventus Football Club can confirm that it has purchased the registration rights of Gonzalo Higuain for â‚¬90 million, payable in two financial years," the Serie A champions said in a statement on their official website. "The player has agreed a five-year contract with the club."
While this move increases the likelihood of Pogba being sold in this summer transfer window, according to several reports in England, it will not give Manchester United leverage when it comes to negotiating a fee, as Juventus have reportedly said they do not need to sell to balance their books.
Having dominated Serie A for several years, Juventus clearly see the Higuain signing as a way to make an impact in the Champions League, and if that European assault will be made with or without Pogba next season, only time will tell.