Chelsea is close to completing a deal to sign Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain on an initial six-month loan deal.
Chelsea has offered to take Higuain on loan until the end of the season with the option to buy the 31-year-old or loan him for a further 12 months.
Higuain has been on loan at AC Milan for the first half of the season, but that deal will now be cut short so he can move to Stamford Bridge providing he can agree on personal terms.
Chelsea accelerated talks with Juventus and Milan on Wednesday after the two clubs contested the Italian Supercoppa in Jeddah, which Juve won 1-0, after deciding to grant head coach Maurizio Sarri his wish to reunite with the striker he managed to prolific success at Napoli.
Following the match, Juventus vice president Pavel Nedved said the Serie A leaders were ready to discuss options with Chelsea over the future of Higuain, who played 20 minutes in the Supercoppa due to illness.
The Premier League club has proposed taking Higuaín on loan until the end of the current season, with a view to making that move permanent on a further 12-month deal. Talks progressed rapidly on Wednesday night after Juve had claimed the Italian Supercoppa with the victory over Milan, where the 31-year-old striker has been on loan to date this season, in Jeddah.
AC Milan Coach Gennaro Gattuso has confirmed Chelsea target Gonzalo Higuain wants to leave the Club
Higuain joined Milan on a season-long loan from Juventus in July with an option to make the deal permanent, but he has struggled to settle at the San Siro, scoring eight goals in all competitions.
“When a player makes up his mind it becomes hard to convince them otherwise,” said Gattuso of Higuain.
“I have a relationship with him that features great honesty, we say things to one another’s face.
“At the moment, he’s our player and we’re holding on tightly to him. I don’t know what will happen.”
“I’ve talked to him a great deal but it’s hard to give advice because the career of a player only lasts 13-14 years,” continued Gattuso.
“It’s his mind, not mine. The most important thing is to talk like men, look each other in the eyes and speak the truth.
“I still don’t understand what Higuain’s unhappy about because I see a happy lad, involved in the locker room.
“We’ll see what happens. If it was up to me, I’d keep him at my house and feed him my dinner.”
That temporary deal at San Siro will now be canceled, with the player, who is on around £170,000-a-week but is keen to rejoin Maurizio Sarri, to discuss personal terms with Chelsea. Juventus are expected to formally confirm Higuain’s departure on Thursday, with the player then likely to fly to London for a medical.
Once Juventus have signed off the Higuain deal, Chelsea will sanction Álvaro Morata’s long-mooted departure to Atlético Madrid. The Spain striker, who moved to Stamford Bridge in July 2017 for an initial £58m, is expected to re-join the club he began his career as a youth-team player on loan. Chelsea is also in talks with AS Monaco over the sale of Michy Batshuayi, for whom they are attempting to recoup as much as £40m. The Belgium striker is keen on a return to the south of France, where he played previously at Marseille.
The Argentina international reportedly wants to join his former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea.
Higuain was always Sarri’s preferred striker target and was recommended by the Italian for Chelsea before he joined Milan on loan last summer, but concerns about the Argentine’s age and relative expense prevented Chelsea from making a move for him then.
Higuain had his most successful season under Sarri, breaking the Serie A goalscoring record with 36 goals in the 2015/16 campaign.
Higuain became a Juventus and Serie A record-signing when he moved to Turin in 2016 for €90 million, after scoring a league-record 36 goals under Sarri at Napoli in the previous campaign.
He joined the Rossoneri in the summer on an €18m season-long loan deal with an option to complete a permanent move for €36m in the summer. However, since he is officially still a Juve player, Chelsea would need to reach an agreement with the Bianconeri.
He has scored only six goals in 15 Serie A appearances this season, after netting 24 and 16 in his two seasons in Turin.
All parties will be hoping that Higuain can rediscover the form that led him to record the best scoring season of his career under Sarri, while his arrival also leaves the way clear for Morata to depart Stamford Bridge on loan this month.
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