Arsenal and Liverpool are leading the race to sign Gonzalo Higuain after the Napoli striker's agent claimed to have had no contact with Barcelona over a possible transfer.
The Daily Express reports how the Argentina international has been heavily linked with a move away from Stadio San Paolo this summer, despite only moving to Italy from Real Madrid last year.
Rafael Benitez paid £32.5 million to bring 26-year-old talisman to Naples, and the Serie 'A' outfit will not sell the frontman for anything less than the £80 million release clause written into his five-year contract.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was credited with an interest in bringing Higuain to the Emirates Stadium last summer, but was eventually beaten to his signature by the Italian suitors.
The north London club have already added marquee signing Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona this summer, but Wenger could do with another striker to ease the burden on Olivier Giroud in attack this season.
It's unlikely that Arsenal would be willing to meet Higuain's mouthwatering valuation, but the typically frugal Frenchman has already shown his willingness to spend big this transfer window so the prospect of him arriving should not be ruled out entirely.
Liverpool meanwhile are still on the lookout for a replacement for Luis Suarez at Anfield, and manager Brendan Rodgers could look to spend all of the £75 million received from Barcelona on bringing Higuain to Merseyside.
The Reds have added Rickie Lambert as well as a number of creative midfielders, but could do with a marquee striker signing to fill the inevitable void left by the Uruguayan's departure.
Higuain would certainly tick all those boxes when you consider his European pedigree, as well as the fact he netted an impressive 24 goals in all competitions during his debut season at Napoli last term.
Barcelona's alleged interest would have probably ended following their capture of Suarez, and Higuain's brother - and agent - confirmed as much, putting to bed any rumours of contact with the Catalan club.
"We have had no contact with the Barcelona directors, nor the Coach," Nicolas Higuain said. "The links with Barcelona are like in a film, there is nothing real about it."
Liverpool looked set to sign Loic Remy for a bargain £8.5 million fee, but the France international failed his medical prompting Rodgers back into the market - possibly for Higuain.
Arsenal might offer much-maligned striker Yaya Sanogo another chance to stake his claim for a place in the team, particularly after his four-goal haul against Benfica in the Emirates Cup at the weekend, should they decide against pursuing the South American star.
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