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Higuain and Reina sign for Napoli

ESPN staff
July 24, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Napoli have completed the signings of Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain and Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, according to president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Reports suggest that Higuain, 25, will join on a five-year deal from Real Madrid, becoming the third player - after Jose Callejon and Raul Albiol - to make the move from the Bernabeu this summer, and was greeted by hundreds of fans in Rome when arriving for his medical on Wednesday.

Through his official Twitter account, De Laurentiis wrote: "Higuain and Reina have passed their medicals and will soon join the rest of the group.

"On Monday there will be a big party at the San Paolo. You will be able to get to know the new players and the new shirts."

Higuain arrives for a fee suggested to be in the region of €37 million, and will hope to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Diego Maradona, who became a legend during his time at Napoli.

Angelo Pisani, Maradona's legal representive, told Kiss Kiss Napoli: "Maradona said he wants to welcome Higuain to Naples. Diego has predicted Higuain will be the top scorer in Italy, that Juve will tremble like when Maradona was in Italy. Diego is optimistic that Napoli will win the Scudetto.

"Maradona said that [Napoli president Aurelio] De Laurentiis is a champion in business, and that a true Argentine can never play for Juventus in Turin. Pipita will continue Maradona's legacy with the Azzurri."

Reina, meanwhile, has completed a season-long loan switch from Liverpool and will reunite with former boss Benitez after the Reds moved to remove the goalkeeper from the wage bill.

Napoli earned €64.5 million from the sale of Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint Germain earlier this summer, and De Laurentiis has promised Benitez a further €60 million for investment after the club finished runners-up in Serie A last season.

Should the moves go through, Higuain and Reina could be in line to appear for Napoli against Arsenal in the Emirates Cup in August.

A report published on Gazzetta.it today showed Higuain, who has scored 107 league goals in six seasons with Real, wearing a Napoli scarf while being mobbed at Rome's Fiumicino airport.

Meanwhile, Reina's agent Manuel Garcia Quilon told Gazzetta.it: "He's happy to reunite with Benitez because he's known him for over five years from their time in Spain and England, and they worked very well together."

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