Soccer: Higuain arrives at 'Real Napoli'

Serie A side assembling impressive squad for upcoming campaign

Soccer: Higuain arrives at 'Real Napoli'

(By Paul Virgo) Rome, July 25 - Napoli have been nicknamed 'Real Napoli' by some fans after Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain's landed in Italy to join for the Serie A side. Higuain is the third and biggest signing Napoli have agreed with Real Madrid in the close season after attacking midfielder-cum-striker Jose Maria Callejon and defender Raul Albiol, both Spaniards. But the nickname also refers to the quality of the squad the Italian side are compiling - one that would not disgrace the Spanish giants - for next season, when they are aiming to challenge in Serie A and the Champions League. Chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis has said Napoli have a 124.5-million-euro transfer budget for the close season, over half of which comes from the sale of Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain. A big slice of that money has gone into luring Higuain to Italy. Higuain, 25, is reportedly set to sign a five-year contract with the Serie A team that will earn him 4.5 million euros a season. Real are set to receive a transfer fee of 40 million euros, according to media reports. "We were looking for a top player and we've found him in Higuain," said new Napoli coach Rafa Benitez. "He comes from Real Madrid, he's scored loads of goals and he'll adapt to our team, which is based on an attacking game," added the Spaniard. In addition to the trio of ex-Real Madrid players, Napoli have also signed Belgium winger Dries Mertens from PSV Eindhoven and Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who comes on loan from Benitez's former side Liverpool. "I'm happy about how things are going and what we are doing," said Benitez, who has also had stints at Valencia, Inter Milan and Chelsea. "We're all working together and we have a clear idea about where we want to go. "Napoli are going to get better and better. The enthusiasm of the fans is positive. "We've acquired players from Real Madrid, Liverpool and Napoli". Napoli qualified for Europe's premier club competition, the Champions League, by finishing second in Serie A to title-holders Juventus last season in an impressive campaign under Walter Mazzarri, who has moved to the Inter bench.

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