Chelsea eye £34 million bid for Gonzalo Higuain if Fernando Torres bid fails
Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign the exciting Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain for €40 million (£34 million) as they look to strengthen their squad this summer.
By Jason Burt
The Premier League club are now weighing up whether to bid for the powerful Argentine international should their attempts to sign Fernando Torres fail.
Contact is understood to have been made with Torres’s representatives, the Spanish agency Bahia Internacional, to establish the Liverpool striker’s intentions at the end of this season.
Liverpool need a complete overhaul Manchester City have also opened a similar dialogue over Torres although neither they, nor Chelsea, have yet approached Liverpool over the 26 year-old, who would cost at least £60 million.
Both clubs are expected to be the big spenders in the transfer market this summer with Chelsea, finally, deciding to rejuvenate their squad with some younger players as well as introducing five players from their academy into the first-team squad.
Ancelotti hopes to make two or three significant signings.
Higuain is known to Ancelotti and his cause is being pushed by agents who are close to the former Juventus executive, Luciano Moggi. Ancelotti is a former Juve coach, of course and has a good relationship with Moggi, who is trying to help broker a deal.
The 22-year-old striker is demanding a salary of €4.5 million (£3.9 million) a year with Chelsea also having to pay €4 million to his representatives to secure the deal. That, however, may prove a sticking point given owner Roman Abramovich’s stance over such fees.
It appears that Chelsea would, however, turn to Higuain only if their attempts to secure Torres, a long-term target, fail. It would then be interesting to see how Ancelotti plans to fit Higuain into his team and what that means for his established strikers, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, who are both over 30. Anelka, in particular, would appear vulnerable.
Higuian has enjoyed an outstanding season at Real, particularly as it was feared he would be frozen out following the raft of expensive signings made last year.
He is also now expected to be part of Diego Maradona’s squad for South Africa this summer, although he was only included for the latter stages of Argentina’s qualifying campaign.
Higuain, who was born in France, arrived at Real from River Plate in 2007 for €13 million, on a six-year deal, and has scored 20 goals in La Liga this season, defying the expectation that he would be replaced by French striker Karim Benzema.