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Transfer Rater: Walcott to Bournemouth

 By Ben Gladwell

Juventus complete Gonzalo Higuain signing from Napoli in €90 million deal

Juventus completed the signing of Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli on Tuesday after activating the striker's €90 million release clause in the most expensive transfer ever in Italian football.

The Italian champions confirmed that Higuain has signed a five-year deal with the club, tying him to the Bianconeri until 2021.

Higuain broke Gunnar Nordahl's 66-year-old Serie A goal-scoring record on the final day of last season when he scored a hat trick to give him 36 goals in 35 matches.

The 28-year-old's transfer fee is the third largest overall in history, following Real Madrid's acquisitions of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The previous most expensive transfer involving an Italian team was Juventus' sale of Zinedine Zidane to Real Madrid for €75m in 2001, while the most an Italian team had ever paid to acquire a player was the €56.5 million Lazio sent Parma for Hernan Crespo in 2000.

Juventus director Beppe Marotta confirmed earlier on Tuesday that he had completed the registration of the Argentina forward in person, taking all the necessary documents to Lega Serie A headquarters in Milan to seal the deal.

"It's all done, we've registered Higuain's contract," Marotta told Sportitalia on Tuesday evening.

Napoli confirmed that Juventus had activated a release clause in Higuain's contract.

A Juventus statement read: "Juventus Football Club S.p.A announce that they have completed the permanent purchase of the playing rights of the footballer Gonzalo Gerardo Higuain for a fee of €90 million, payable in two equal instalments in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons."

The former River Plate and Real Madrid striker scored a total of 71 goals for Napoli after joining the club in 2013 and helped the club to success in the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana in 2014.

He will hope to help Juventus to a sixth successive Serie A title this season.

Higuain becomes Juve's biggest signing of a summer in which they have already brought in Miralem Pjanic, Dani AlvesMarko Pjaca, Mario Lemina and Medhi Benatia.

Juventus have also been involved in talks to sell star midfielder Paul Pogba to Manchester United, but Marotta said on Tuesday that they had came to an impasse.

To fill the void left by Higuain, Napoli are pursuing Ajax striker Arkadiusz Milik, according to the Dutch club's sporting director.

"It is correct that Napoli are keen to discuss a transfer," Marc Overmars told Voetbal International. "But there is no agreement yet."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.


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