By Alex Taylor
West Ham could miss out on a key summer target as Gonzalo Higuain has not requested a move away from Napoli, the club have confirmed.
The news will frustrate fans as any deal now looks unlikely for the forward despite a wealth of interest in his services this summer.
Napoli head of communications Nicola Lombardo said that Higuain is not pushing for a transfer.
She also claimed that Juventus, who have been strongly linked in Italy with a move to trigger the player’s daunting £78million release clause, have yet to make a move for the star.
“Gonzalo never said he wanted to leave,” Goal quoted Lombardo saying at a Q&A session. “Juve have never asked for him and [President] Aurelio De Laurentiis does not want to sell him.”
Football Insider have already reported that West Ham were ready to pay up to £60million to secure his signature.
The striker scored more than a goal a game last season, netting 36 times in 35 league games and providing two assists along the way, helping to guide the Italian outfit to a second-placed finish in Serie A.
The former River Plate player has two years remaining on his current contract but could be tempted by a move to the Premier League.
Higuain has spent this summer competing at the Copa America, in which Argentina lost to Chile on penalties in the final.
Bilic has already completed the signings of Sofiane Feghouli, Havard Nordtveit and Gökhan Töre in the current transfer window.