x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Gonzalo Higuain open to playing alongside Lionel Messi at Barca

Reports linking Napoli striker with a return to Spain where he once played for Primera Liga giants Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi, left, and Gonzalo Higuain, centre, are among the biggest  stars in the Argentina team. Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP
Lionel Messi, left, and Gonzalo Higuain, centre, are among the biggest stars in the Argentina team. Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP

Gonzalo Higuain, the Napoli striker, conceded on Monday it would be a pleasure to play alongside fellow Argentine Lionel Messi at Barcelona amid continued speculation the Catalan giants are looking to take him to the Nou Camp.

Higuain only joined Italian Serie A side Napoli from Real Madrid 12 months ago, but Barca are reportedly keen to take the 26 year old back to Spain as they look to rebuild under new coach Luis Enrique.

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Napoli released a statement on Sunday dismissing those reports as “totally groundless”, but comments from Higuain since have once again fuelled speculation about a possible switch.

When asked if he would enjoy linking up with Messi, his Argentina captain, at the Nou Camp, Higuain told Spanish news agency Efe: “Of course. I enjoy playing alongside him for the national team.

“Obviously it would be an enormous pleasure, but for now I’m focused on the World Cup.

“I’m flattered by the interest from Barca. Any player would be.”

Higuain was speaking in the mixed zone following Argentina’s 2-1 World Cup win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday night.

Higuain scored 107 league goals in six seasons at Real Madrid before joining Napoli last summer on a five-year contract, with the Serie A side reportedly paying €40 million (nearly Dh200m) for the prolific frontman.

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