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Mercato Madness: No, Gonzalo Higuain is not going to Liverpool

One of the silliest transfer rumors of the month is getting wildly out of hand.

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Sometimes transfer season creates rumors that are so stupid they shouldn't be believed for a moment, but gain massive traction anyways. Case in point: Gonzalo Higuain is super obviously going to Liverpool because lots of good reasons that totally make sense and aren't made up out of whole cloth you guys!

The English media has been banging the drum on this one HARD for the last week and a half or so, and it makes less and less sense every time they change their story. Higuain wants out because he's unhappy in Naples without Champions League football! Oh wait, those quotes are three months old and were fake in the first place. Rafa wants Liverpool to buy him before he swoops in to replace Brendan Rodgers! Well, Rodgers isn't getting fired any time soon and that's just dumb anyways. Higuain has a super-secret super-low release clause that only Liverpool know about and they're totally going to trigger it! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT?!

Look, this isn't happening. This is just companies trying to sell newspapers and get page clicks. The formula is simple: take big club x, link them to big player y, and watch income z increase. It's stupid, it's crap, but it works.

Even Riccardo Bigon has been forced in to addressing this, telling the media that "Higuain never considered leaving Napoli and an exit is to be excluded," before Sunday's Juventus match. The media, of course, didn't care, changing their story to the ridiculous release clause story mentioned above.

Look, instead of going through a long, flowery chunk of words explaining why this is all BS, let's just bullet point the high notes.

  • Gonzalo Higuain cost Napoli some €37 million. The "release clause" being reported in England is for €35 million. That doesn't just make zero sense, it's also the exact opposite of how Aurelio De Laurentiis does business.
  • For what it's worth, ADL said multiple times during Barcelona's summer pursuit of Higuain that his release clause is €100 million. So if Liverpool want to pay that AND give Pipita a raise on €150,000 per week wages... feel free. We'll wait.
  • Liverpool can't afford Higuain with Financial Fair Play in consideration. They're already under UEFA investigation for their summer expenditure, and even without that they're likely so close to the spending ceiling that a €35 million player (we're humoring the ludicrous release clause story for two seconds to help prove the point) with expensive wages is out of the question until this summer at the soonest.
  • Even if Liverpool could afford Higuain (they can't) and he wants to leave (he doesn't), why would they go get him? Sure, a top-class striker is always a good thing to have, but once Liverpool get Daniel Sturridge healthy again, hey, look, they already have one! And Divock Origi has the potential to be another once he comes back from loan and takes a step or two in his development. And Raheem Sterling makes a pretty decent false nine if needed. And there's that Mario Balotelli guy who's been struggling at Anfield, but is pretty good when he's right. Yeah, Liverpool aren't exactly lacking for quality up top.
  • Even if you buy the rumor that Liverpool are done with Balo and want to sell him to fund a Higuain move... uh... yeah... no. If Liverpool sell Balotelli now, with his value lower than ever, they're not getting diddly to help fund a move or clear FFP space. They'd be taking a huge loss on a transfer fee they paid just five months ago, and his current wages are roughly half of Higuain's. The financial angle just doesn't add up.

Long story short: this move isn't happening. There's too many reasons that it doesn't make sense, and exactly none that do. Move on to something more plausible and/or interesting, English media.