Wednesday Kickoff: Higuain makes big money move to Napoli; Liverpool reject second Suarez bid; and more

GonzaloHiguainRealMadrid2 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Napoli President Aurelio De Lauretiis is making sure that every penny earned from the €63 million transfer of Edinson Cavani is well spent.

The Italian club is putting the finishing touches on a €40 million ($53 million) transfer for Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain, which would make him the third Real Madrid player to move to Napoli this summer, following Jose Callejon and Raul Albiol. According to reports in Spain, Higuain will sign a four-year contract worth €6 million with the club.

Before Higuain makes the move official, the club and player’s representatives are working out his image rights, a sticking point on earlier rumored moves to Arsenal and Juventus. The Spanish club are hoping to iron out the deal by the end of this week to officially introduce the 25-year-old next Monday.

Real Madrid signed Higuain from River Plate in December 2006 for €12 million, and the French-born Argentine forward went on to score 119 goals in more than 250 appearances in all competitions.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday kicked off:

ARSENAL THROW EGGS INTO SUAREZ BASKET

After deciding not to continue their pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain, Arsenal now seems hell-bent on signing Liverpool’s Luis Suarez.

The London club made a second transfer bid, this one totaling £40 million + £1 pound, releasing a clause in Suarez’s contract that lets him know about any bids for him. Liverpool however have rejected the offer, and manager Brendan Rodgers has been adamant that the Uruguayan forward will stay at the club.

Arsenal’s second offer for the 26-year-old even elicited a response from co-owner John Henry, who tweeted out his thoughts on the matter. According to reports in England, Liverpool have decided that they won’t even consider selling Suarez unless offered a sum of more than £50 million, something that is unheard of from Arsenal’s transfer history.

Suarez, who is still suspended for the first six matches of the upcoming season for his bite on Branislav Ivanovic, made his return appearance with Liverpool on their preseason tour of Australia, playing 20 minutes against the Melbourne Victory and assisting on the game’s final goal in stoppage-time.

MORE RACISM ALLEGATIONS IN ITALY

Racism allegations have once again reared it’s ugly head in the direction of AC Milan.

For the second time in this calendar year, an AC Milan player has walked off the pitch due to alleged racist abuse from the stands. In this situation, the player in question is defender Kevin Constant, a Frenchman of Guinean descent.

During the annual preseason Trofeo TIM tournament, Constant left the field in the 34th minute of a 2-1 defeat to Sassuolo, kicking the ball into the stands in the process after receiving abuse from the fans in Reggio Emilio, where the tournament is being held.

The referee reportedly allowed a substitute to come on for Milan but warned if it happened again during the match that the game would be suspended.

CHIVAS WINS COPA MX OPENER

For the first time since March 10, Chivas Guadalajara has won a competitive match.

The famed Mexican club, who went on a tailspin in the 2013 Clausura, finishing in 17th place with just three wins all spring. However, they’ve started off their fall season strong, winning their Copa MX first round match, 2-1, against Ascenso MX side Necaxa.

A Patricio Araujo header off a corner kick in the 62nd minute broke the deadlock in Chivas’ favor, giving them a lead. In the 77th minute, 20-year-old Giovanni Hernandez sent a delightful left-footed shot off the post and into the net to double the lead in the visitors favor.

Necaxa were able to score a consolation goal through Eduardo Lillingston in the 86th minute but it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Liga MX side.

QUICK KICKS

Wilfried Bony has received a UK work permit, enabling him to complete his £12 million ($18.45 million) move to Swansea City. (REPORT)

Every player and official involved in the two matches in Nigeria with a combined score of 146-0 has been given a life ban by the Nigeria Football Federation for for their actions. (REPORT)

Brazilian international forward Vagner Love has completed a move to Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng from CSKA Moscow. (REPORT)

Lazio has completed the signing of Argentine midfielder Lucas Biglia for a reported €5.5 million, signing a five-year contract with the Italian side. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Did you expect to see Napoli sign Higuain? Do you see Arsenal acquiring Suarez? What do you think of the racism incident in Italy? Do you like Chivas’ chances this season to bounce back?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Higuain makes big money move to Napoli; Liverpool reject second Suarez bid; and more

  1. patrick says:

    can’t believe Vagner Love is still playing.

  2. adam says:

    “The Spanich club are hoping to iron out the deal”

    • joe says:

      Despite all of the quality of SBI, it is this kind of mistake that make this website seem a little bit beneath many others. Beyond the typos and grammatical errors, I frequently find this type of blunder in SBI’s articles. Carelessness does not result in excellence.

      • HoboMike says:

        +1.

        It gets to me as well. These are the kind of mistakes that are easily fixed. Hit F7 for SpellCheck. There is no such word as Spanich.

        Grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, putting wrong days and channels for “Today’s Soccer on TV” spots. Frustrating.

      • Jason says:

        You can use goal.com…they sometimes dont even get the match date/time correct.

      • cleats says:

        surprised you can read this article from your high horse… go start a grammar blog.

      • wides says:

        Dude, I’m totally with you on this one. If only SBI could use all of the hard earned money that we pay them for this awesome content, to go hire an editor or even a proofreader.

        Wait… what ? You don’t pay for this content ?

        Maybe when you see a typo, you should just be happy that you get this content for free. Or, just post the typo in the comments and it’ll most likely get corrected. Try not to be THAT GUY… grammar/typo policeman

    • Kevin_H says:

      There are the occasional spelling/grammar mistakes. But I don’t think soccerbyives is at the point yet where they have editors. What they do well is get their facts right, and timely. And if they don’t, they are responsive to correct it. Hard to fault them too much for that.

  3. biff says:

    Moderation repeat

    * Sunderland played Tottenham today in Hong Kong, with Jozy and Clint starting.

    * Dolo said in German news interview says he speaks regularly with Klinsmann and has been @ssured he will go to Brazil for WC 2014 if healthy.

    link to bild.de

    • Drewbles says:

      Yeah, Jozy had an assist in the first half but blew three great chances in the second.

      On one he was standing by himself at the edge of the 6-yard box and botched a volley attempt.
      On another he was given a horizontal pass for a one-on-one with Friedel, took an extra touch, and the couldn’t get it past Friedel as he was narrowed the angle.

    • David says:

      Sunderland won 3-1, neither Yank scored. Friedel gave up 2 in the second half but made 3 stunning saves to keep the score close. My brother is there and gave me updates as the game went along. A huge rainstorm left standing water on the field, so officials shortened the game to two 40 minute halves. They had to fit in Manchester City’s game against the hosts South China FC.

      • Matt says:

        Jozy @ssisted on one goal, was robbed by Friedel on another shot, and missed a sitter. Sunderland fans generally happy with his performance, noting he is already an improvement from last year, but adding that he must make those sitters.

      • Brian S. says:

        From the match report it appears Jozy had an a$$i$t and created a number of other chances. It seems Di Canio is really pleased with him

  4. biff says:

    also saw that Fabian Johnson’s contract is up in 2014, meaning he could leave Hoffenhein cheap this summer or free next summer. He is now injured, apparently nothing major.

  5. sammysounder says:

    As an Arsenal supporter I’m getting pissed at Wenger. Let me play this out…

    Napoli signs Higuain, Madrid collects payday.

    Madrid increases bid for Suarez.

    Arsene saves money and tells everyone he has the money to spend big in the transfer market.

    • ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

      Rinse and repeat.

    • HoboMike says:

      Don’t forget Arsenal’s 2 bids for a player who said that he hates England and doesn’t want to play in the country. Classic misdirection. Wenger says, “I said I would spend money, and I made two offers for the best striker in the PL. Not my fault Liverpool rejected them.”

      Yes, yes it is your fault.

    • Indeed says:

      This is my exact fear…

      The only hope is that Madrid decides to spend the moeny on Bale instead. But then that leaves Spurs with a huge chunk of change.

      Lose-lose scenario for Arsenal..

    • Ben says:

      At this point I think it is as much Kroenke as it is Wenger. Kroenke seems to only be interested in being just good enough to keep fans interested, just look at his US teams.

      • Steevens says:

        Hard to blame Kroenke for an ongoing problem that has been an issue since well before he had a majority stake.

        • Old School says:

          You didn’t get the memo, Steevens.

          It’s chic to criticize ownership groups when they’re American, in the sport.

          • Steevens says:

            I guess I’m just too rational to be a Eurosnob-hipster. Sorry, Old School I’ll try harder next time.

    • Paul says:

      I thought that Arsenal’s biggest weaknesses were in goal and defense.

  6. Sly says:

    Liverpool should just extend the Suarez to arsenal bit till the very last day of the transfer period then sell him to madrid. Chelsea taking Rooney Suarez staying or going to Real would leave Arsenal up a creek without a paddle. Since the fourth spot is the best liverpool can hope for better to frustrate and then deny Wenger.

    Napoli will be an excellent team this year. I think they still need one or two more moves defensive side to be a challenger in the champions league. Without a stronger defense after losing Cavani to PSG and his guaranteed goals its going to be hard to finish second again with Both Milan teams reloading and Juventus as strong as ever.

  7. Steevens says:

    Looks like Arsene has missed the point in commentators calling for more bite in the Arsenal squad for the last decade.