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Manchester United to make €87 million Gonzalo Higuain offer

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Jose Mourinho is apparently telling people he's "wrapped up" a deal to bring Higuain to Manchester.

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Many are wondering what the future holds for Gonzalo Higuain and Napoli. Talks of a contract extension keep popping up and fading away, and it seems like any possible serious negotiations won't happen until the summer. In the meantime, transfer rumors keep swirling -- and the newest of those rumors may prove to be the biggest eyebrow-raiser we've seen of them yet.

According to reports coming out of England, Jose Mourinho has been telling people -- including representatives of Paris Saint-Germain -- that he has agreed to manage Manchester United next season, and that he's either requested that signing Higuain be a condition of him coming to Old Trafford, or that he's perhaps even already wrapped up such a deal. The exact phrasing varies from report to report, but one thing is clear: if Mourinho manages Manchester United, he wants to do so with Higuain leading his attack.

The bid involved is reportedly for some €87 million, a significant figure that, while it's just shy of the €94 million release clause, is close enough to give reason to think that Manchester could be willing to meet it. Even without the Champions League, Manchester's television and sponsorship revenues are high enough that they could easily afford such a fee without incurring the wrath of Financial Fair Play -- though that mechanism doesn't have the same teeth it once did -- and the belief in England is that Napoli might be willing to come down slightly off Higuain's release clause with his contract starting to run down, though the club has been insistent that they will not.

While it's easy to dismiss most such rumors out of hand, the connection that Mourinho and Higuain have dating back to their Real Madrid days is hard to deny, as is the draw of playing for a prestigious club like Manchester United. Higuain would be sorely tempted by such an offer if one is tabled, and Napoli could certainly use the funds to help rebuild the squad.

Will this rumor pan out? Maybe, maybe not. But there's plenty about it to make it plausible, and that's enough to keep a close eye on this rumor.