July 25, 2013
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Real Madrid is winning this summer's transfer market.
While teams all around Europe are spending huge money to land big-name stars, Los Blancos made arguably the best move of the summer by selling one of their players, Gonzalo Higuain, for a pretty ridiculous sum to Napoli.
The Associated Press (via Sports Illustrated) has more on the transfer figure believed to reach €40 million:
Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain arrived in Rome for a reported medical with Serie A runner-up Napoli on Wednesday.
The Argentina international was greeted by around a hundred jubilant Napoli fans, waving club scarves and Argentina flags.
The physicals were passed, according to Football Italia.
This move is genius on so many levels. For one, Higuain isn't worth €40 million. He just isn't. His 18 goals in 31 starts for Real Madrid last season was impressive, but not €40 million impressive.
Frankly, the fact that Real Madrid was able to get that figure for a player that has basically split time at forward the past three seasons for Los Blancos is pretty remarkable.
But what team was Napoli really bidding against here? It's hard to imagine Arsenal ever getting close to that figure—the Gunners seemed to drop out of the running around the €27 million mark—and unless there was a mystery team, Napoli didn't really have much competition.
Sure, Real Madrid didn't have to sell Higuain, but with Los Blancos rumoured to have eyes for Luis Suarez, per Charles Perrin of the Express, it would make sense for the club to sell. Thus, Real Madrid essentially got Napoli to bid against itself and dramatically overpay for Higuain.
As Malcolm Reynolds might say, that was one shiny bit of business.
Speaking of Suarez, this move now frees up plenty of cash to throw at Liverpool in order to bring the star striker to Madrid. Suarez was often a one-man show at Liverpool—imagine how dangerous he would be with teammates like Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Isco and Angel di Maria.
His constant movement and ability to decimate defenders one-on-one would allow him to interchange easily with Ronaldo, slide out wide, break into channels where wizards like Ozil and Isco could find him behind defenders and generally just cause havoc.
It's a frightening thought—especially for the rest of La Liga—and given the track records of both of these clubs, it's hard to see a scenario where Real Madrid is outbid by Arsenal. Essentially, Real Madrid put itself in the driver's seat to get the player it ostensibly wanted all along.
Well played, Los Blancos. Well played.
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