The claims of both Gonzalo Higuain and his father Jorge that Aurelio De Laurentiis was to blame for his Napoli exit have not gone down well with the Azzurri president.
At his official unveiling as a Juventus player, Higuain said that a souring of his relationship with the film producer turned president was a big reason behind his departure.
This was a statement which was backed up by his father on Friday but De Laurentiis has issued an impassioned retort via an open letter posted on the club’s official website.
“Dear fans of Napoli and dear football fans, I read the statements of Gonzalo Gerardo Higuain in the press conference organised by Juventus and I want to focus on the part where, after he said that they are a big family and he’s happy to wear their jersey, he said that the reason he left was down to me,” began De Laurentiis.
“I thought long and hard about whether or not these statements deserved an answer but it is clear to me that everyone wants to know the truth. In the end I thought that it was better to say something and this is my answer:
“1. If Mr. Gonzalo Gerardo Higuain was so annoyed by my presence, it took him [three] years to figure it out. Either he is a false person or a great actor. But I exclude the latter possibility, as I know all about actors.
“2. We spent a lot of time together, even recently. For example, we were together for an entire day at the Disciplinary Committee in Rome on April 15 to try and appeal his suspension of four games. I assure you that Gonzalo was very calm that day and showed no ill feeling towards me. People who were there with us can testify to this.
“3. Why is it that his agent didn’t show any impatience when we met to discuss a renewal? If they were so intolerant of my presence, then they would not have spent hours discussing money, and lots of money at that, with great interest and excitement.”
“4. Does he show no shame after his agent said that the team in which he played, that put him in a position to score 38 [sic] goals isn’t up to par? Napoli were the team who created the most amount of scoring chances in Italy, a key statistic for an attacker who wants to score goals.
“5. Trying to say that his move to his new club is my fault is disrespectful to the Neapolitans. If Higuain had read about the history of Naples, he would discover that this city was the only to rid itself of the Nazis, even before the arrival of the Americans, who found a city which was already freed when they entered. These people can turn on you if you have no shame but don’t take the p**s [out of them].”