— Juventus tell Chelsea they will need to pay £32m to sign Gonzalo Higuain at the end of his loan
— Chelsea in talks to sign Gonzalo Higuain on loan until end of the season
Chelsea have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain after Juventus made it clear that they will demand a future fee of £32million, according to reports in Italy.
The Argentine’s brother and agent, Nicolas, reportedly flew to London to try and finalise the move on Thursday, with Maurizio Sarri desperate to bring in Higuain as a replacement for Alvaro Morata.
Higuain is currently on loan at AC Milan and any deal would require them to terminate his deal early – however, it contains an obligation to buy the striker in the summer for £32m.
Now, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus have told Chelsea that they will require them to pay the previously agreed transfer fee if they are to sanction Higuain’s move to west London. They will not need to pay up until the summer, when the loan ends, though Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia is extremely reluctant to spend so much on a player who has just turned 31.
The club have a policy not to spend big on players over the age of 30, while they only offer one-year rolling contracts – a rule that could see David Luiz leave in the summer.
Nevertheless, Higuain is Sarri’s number one choice and recently dubbed him a ‘goal machine’, with the forward having netted 36 times – a career high – in his one and only season under Sarri.
But while the Italian coach is most keen to be reunited with Higuain at Stamford Bridge, the club’s transfer decision makers are less convinced and have already begun looking at potential alternatives.
Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson has been linked with a £50m move while a swoop for Leicester City star Jamie Vardy has also been mooted – both players would count as homegrown.