By Italy correspondent Gianluigi Carrozzini
Gonzalo Higuain’s Premier League suitors have been given a boost in their pursuit of Serie A’s most prolific striker.
An Italy source has told Football Insider that the Argentina international has yet to open talks with Napoli over a contract extension.
His current deal expires in 2018 and there is huge interest in prising the forward from Naples in the summer transfer window.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are all closely monitoring the situation of Higuain, who has scored 24 Serie A goals in 26 matches this season, 11 more than his closest rival, Paulo Dybala of Juventus.
Amid strong interest in the player last summer, Napoli released a statement informing potential suitors that they must meet a release clause of €94.7million (£73.9million) to sign the forward, who turned 28 in December.
That interest has only been increased by the performances this season of Higuain, who has scored 26 times in 32 matches in all competitions.
There is likely to be anxiety among Napoli chiefs about the future of Higuain unless he extends his agreement, especially given the mammoth new Premier League broadcasting deal that comes into effect next season and will give English clubs even greater financial muscle.
Since being among ex manager Rafael Benitez’s first signings in the summer of 2013, the former Real Madrid striker has scored 79 Napoli goals in just 136 games and also weighed in with 26 assists.