Barcelona have received a blow for any prospective move for Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain after the player revealed he is happy at his club.
Sky Sports reports that the Argentina international has spoken about his immediate future and has pledged that he will be at the Serie A club next year, after Lionel Messi had indicated he would like the striker to join him at the Camp Nou.
Sky quotes Higuain saying to www.tuttomercatoweb.com: "I am really grateful to Leo (Messi) for his kind words but I have a contract with Napoli that makes me very happy. The Partenopei club (Napoli) has always treated me very well since I arrived there."
Higuain joined Napoli just last summer after a £34.5 million move from Real Madrid and still has four years left on his current deal, per Sky Sports.
The 26-year-old had a successful first season in Italian football, scoring 22 times in 41 Serie A and European matches, according to WhoScored.com.
Barcelona will be looking to add to their attack in the next few weeks as they look to restructure after a trophy-less season in Spain.
It is understandable why Messi would like his international colleague with him at the club, especially as Higuain has excellent knowledge of domestic Spanish football from his time with Real Madrid.
And they both have linked up well for Argentina at the World Cup, as Oliver Kay tweeted during the recent Belgium match:
Barcelona are also being linked to Colombia World Cup star Juan Cuadrado.
Enrico Passarella from GianlucaDiMarzio.com reports that the player recently said to Radio Blu Toscana:
As for now, I haven’t received any concrete offer from any club, those are only rumours on the press. I’m not in a hurry to decide my future, we’ll see what will happen. I’m serene. Wherever I’ll go, I’ll try to play as I have always done.
Sky Sports 24, via Passarella, also reports that the player's agent, Alessandro Lucci, will fly to Barcelona on Thursday for potential talks.
Higuain and Cuadrado would be excellent purchases for Barcelona. However, in the Argentine's case, he would not be required if Barca capture Luis Suarez from Liverpool. David Anderson of The Mirror reports that the Uruguay player will arrive at the Camp Nou by Friday, and this would make Higuain's addition highly improbable.
Cuadrado has had a fantastic few weeks with his country, and he is undoubtedly a talented wide player. He would more suit Barcelona's team at full-back, and this could be an area that he thrives in. But Barca's needs lie elsewhere at present, so it is more likely that the Colombian will end up at an alternative destination.