Liverpool failed in summer swap deal for Gonzalo Higuain

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Liverpool were so keen to acquire the services of Gonzalo Higuain during the summer that they offered Napoli £22 million as well as the services of one of Brendan Rodgers' existing players.

This is according to reports from Brazil publication Zero Hora cited by talkSPORT, which claim that the Reds went off in pursuit of the Argentina striker after losing the services of talismanic but hugely controversial striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona in a £65 million deal.

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No deal

While Rodgers was evidently very keen for Argentine international Higuain to fill the sizeable void left by fellow South American Suarez, it is claimed that a tempting package deal that would have seen Lucas Leiva move in the other direction unfortunately failed despite Napoli's previous links to the industrious but limited and hideously injury-prone midfielder.

27-year-old Lucas appears to have become surplus to requirements at Anfield of late. The Brazilian has made just two starts in the Premier League so far this campaign - against West Ham and Southampton - and looks to have fallen further down Rodgers' established pecking order following a busy transfer window.

With his career on Merseyside seemingly stalling and fans hardly clamouring to see him back in the starting lineup on a regular basis, a fresh start in a new league under a familiar manager could have been ideal for Lucas and one certainly would not be surprised to see Liverpool attempt to rekindle such a move when the transfer window re-opens in January.

Indeed, the same speculation suggests that an offer for Higuain could well be revisited in the new year with the strike duo of Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli yet to prove that they have the ability necessary to replace the goals lost by Suarez's departure - a problem increased by Daniel Sturridge's continued absence with a hamstring injury picked up on England duty.

Hefty release clause

Just how much money it will take to be able to convince Napoli into parting with the former Real Madrid forward is unclear.

It is common knowledge that Higuain has an eye-watering £80 million release clause present in his current contract at the Stadio San Paolo, although it seems extremely unlikely that Liverpool would be willing to pay such an extravagant sum for a striker who has only scored in the Champions League during the 2014/15 campaign and has yet to hit the target in Serie A.

If an agreement can be reached, however, then it may not be particularly difficult for Rodgers to convince Higuain to move to Merseyside.

Despite the fact that he has only spent just under 15 months at the club, Higuain - who has also been linked with Chelsea - does not appear entirely content at Napoli amid persistent speculation that the club are already lining up prolific Porto striker Jackson Martinez as his replacement.

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