Not one to shy away from giving a good soundbyte, Aurelio De Laurentiis spoke a little more to the media at Castel Volutrno today, following up from his earlier session. Some in the press wanted to know more about the speculation of Gonzalo Higuain moving to Spanish outfit Barcelona, and Napoli's president had some interesting, and revealing, things to say.
Earlier in the day he had simply asked that Higuain "not move, stay with us," when he was asked about the rumors. Corriere dello Sport were able to get a little bit more out of him, though:
"I really like Higuain, he is a highly educated person with strong values. As long as our relationship will work, there will be no problem. Anyone of you wrote that I had to lock up his contract with a clause of €70 million, but I can tell that last year I placed a €100 million clause in his deal."
That's... wow. That's a whole lot of money. De Laurentiis has also made it pretty clear that if Barcelona wants to come and get Higuain, they'll have to trigger his release clause to do it. With the Catalan giants about to spend similar money on Luis Suarez, it's highly, highly doubtful that they'll dip that deep in to the local banks twice to get Higuain.
For his part, Higuain has said a couple times in the last few days that he's happy at Napoli and doesn't have any particular plans to leave. Barcelona was always an odd fit for him from a variety of standpoints, so hopefully the news of this massive release clause will bring an end to one of the summer's more annoying storylines.
De Laurentiis, being the delightfully bent man that he is, couldn't help but use the opportunity to take a pop at the media while making this revelation:
"The media are always uninformed, you really believe that a person who has produced and distributed hundreds of movies not know how to do a trade?"
Never change, Aurelio. Never, ever change.