independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Wenger sets sights high as Gunners close in on £22m Higuain deal

Arsenal are closing in on Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain is edging nearer towards a £22m move to Arsenal in a deal that will represent a significant shift in Arsene Wenger's transfer policy.

Higuain (above) is understood to have agreed personal terms of around £130,000 a week and is on the verge of leaving Real Madrid to become the first high-profile recruit of the summer at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger has been notoriously cautious in recent years, but is determined to strengthen his squad after clinching a place in next season's Champions League and is ready to revise Arsenal's wage structure in a bid to attract the world's elite players.

Arsenal's board have made £70m available for the Frenchman to spend and the fee for Higuain will smash the club's transfer record of £15m for Andrey Arshavin in 2009.

The Argentina international, who was a target for Manchester City last year, has met with Wenger and is now waiting for Arsenal to conclude negotiations with Madrid before his new club fly to the Far East for a tour next month.

Juventus had also registered their interest in the 25-year-old forward, but Arsenal are growing increasingly confident of reaching an agreement in the next few days.

Wenger is also considering a move for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who has a £24m buy-out clause in his contract, while Swansea City centre-half Ashley Williams is a long-standing target.

Earlier this month, Arsenal's chief executive Ivan Gazidis claimed the club were now set to become one of Europe's financial superpowers, promising Wenger the funds to ensure he is now on an equal footing with the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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