Higuain never considered Napoli exit

Gonzalo Higuain insists he never considered leaving Napoli despite reported interest from La Liga giants Barcelona.

The Argentina international was heavily linked with a move to Camp Nou earlier in the transfer window after international team-mate Lionel Messi expressed a desire for the 26-year-old striker to join him at Barca.

However, Higuain - who previously represented Barca's rivals Real Madrid - was not tempted by the overtures of the Catalan outfit and wants to focus his energies on delivering the Serie A title to Napoli - an ambition that has grown after he suffered heartbreak with Argentina in the World Cup final.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, he said: "I have never commented on this issue but I will tell the truth.

"I was only thinking about the World Cup at the time, and then my return to Napoli.

"I remained calm. If Messi said certain things then I can only be flattered. I believe that every player in the world would love to play alongside such a great champion.

"But this does not mean that I want to leave here. I was desperate to win the World Cup and the Scudetto, like Maradona did. The first dream has gone, but I am sure I will realise the second in May."

Higuain has tipped Inter to provide a renewed challenge for the title this season, while stating reigning champions Juventus may take time to adapt to new coach Massimiliano Allegri and last season's runners-up Roma could be hindered by playing in the Champions League.

"Inter have reinforced well, bringing in [Nemanja] Vidic, [Yann] M’Vila, {Pablo Daniel] Osvaldo and [Gary] Medel. I think they will fight for the title," he added.

"Juve have a new coach, so that may take some getting used to, and Roma have to deal with Champions League football as well."

Higuain moved to Napoli from Real in July 2013 and scored 17 goals in 32 Serie A appearances last season.