Friday 18 January 2019

Chelsea enter talks to take Higuain on loan from Juve

Gonzalo Higuain. Photo: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images
Gonzalo Higuain. Photo: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images

Jason Burt

Chelsea are in talks to sign Gonzalo Higuain on loan until the end of the season - although Juventus would prefer to sell the striker.

The Argentinian's brother, Nicolas, who represents him, was in London yesterday to plan a move to the Premier League. Chelsea will allow Alvaro Morata to go out on loan once they secure his replacement and Higuain is their first choice.

Morata's representative, Juanma Lopez, has also been in London and Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Monaco are interested in the out-of-form Spain international.

The Higuain deal is being driven by Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri who worked with him at Napoli before the forward made a controversial switch to Juventus, and regards him as the solution to the club's scoring problems.

Sarri would like to offer Higuain a permanent deal, which would cost in excess of £30 million, but is aware of his club's policy regarding players who are over 30. Chelsea tend to offer only one-year deals and certainly would not want to pay such a substantial fee for a forward who turned 31 last month.

Higuain joined AC Milan on a season-long loan last summer but wants to cut short his time at the San Siro to reunite with Sarri. He is due to be part of the Milan squad who face Sampdoria in the Italian Cup tomorrow and then travels to Saudi Arabia to play Juve in the Italian Super Cup. AC Milan negotiated an option to pay £32m to sign Higuain at the end of his loan spell but it seems unlikely they will pursue that. Juve would want the same level of fee for Higuain should he move to Chelsea permanently.

Sarri, meanwhile, is unlikely to want to retain Michy Batshuayi for the remainder of this campaign despite the Belgian's loan spell at Valencia being cut short. Everton are in need of a striker and are among several clubs interested in the out-of-favour 25-year-old.

Marko Arnautovic has told West Ham he wants to move to China this month - with the club immediately responding by issuing a statement that the striker "is not for sale".

West Ham have rejected a £35m bid from a Chinese Super League club, believed to be the champions Shanghai SIPG, for the 29-year-old Austrian international. His brother, Danijel, has claimed that West Ham bought him for "peanuts" and should let him leave.

"West Ham bought Marko for peanuts. They paid £20m for him, which is nothing in the current market," he said. "They bought him to keep them in the Premier League last season and he did that. He took every award at the club: best player, signing of the season and the player's award.

"Now West Ham have a fantastic offer. It is close to double what they paid for him. This is what he wants."

Telegraph.co.uk

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