Gonzalo Higuain passes medical at Napoli, signs contract

Jan Kruger

The one-time Arsenal target moves on to Napoli, closing the door on an odd transfer saga

All it took for Gonzalo Higuain to finalize his move to Arsenal was Real Madrid appointing Jose Mourinho's successor. Both personal terms and a transfer fee had been agreed upon and nearly a month ago now, after they named PSG's Carlo Ancelotti to the post, we were counting down the days (hours, perhaps) until he'd be freed from the Bernabeu and photographed holding our shirt, wide-grinned and hopeful of the future.

But then talk came out that Ancelotti wanted to convince Higuain to stay, then Florentino Perez claimed Arsenal hadn't made a single bid for the striker. It was around that time that things went from "getting weird" to "Hell's about to break loose" and, as we debated the merits of Luis Suarez, Higuain's future slipped more and more towards the other side of the Mediterranean coast, with it culminating officially today with the announcement that he, along with Pepe Reina, moved to Napoli for €40 million (£34.5 million).

How did we get here? Higuain's father said that he was given permission by Madrid to negotiate with Arsenal directly. Was it Arsenal who were overconfident of their position regarding Madrid's interpretation of Higuain's value? Did Wenger sense Napoli's interest once they had Edinson Cavani cash to toss around and didn't feel like getting in a bidding war - especially after he had an idea of what the initial fee due to Madrid was in a deal for Higuain? A number of possibilities exist, but two of the strongest beliefs held right now are that something went terribly wrong between Arsenal and Madrid after personal wages were agreed upon regarding the massive increase in transfer fees demanded or Wenger, as he's wont to do, simply backed out once he realized Luis Suarez was open to moving within England.

Either way, the story's written, the book's finished. Gonzalo Higuain, close to becoming an Arsenal player, is off to another club. While I place the ultimate faith and trust in Arsene Wenger, that he knows what he's doing this summer - in the face, mind you, of the loudest and most vitriolic criticism I've ever witnessed for a member of a team I've followed - I'd be lying through my teeth if I said I wasn't scared out of my mind right now.

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