Some transfer rumors never seem to go away, no matter how much the clubs deny them. Others take on a life of their own, seemingly out of nowhere. And then there are the rumors that get started and then are seemingly confirmed by the people involved.
Gonzalo Higuain has been consistently linked with a move to Chelsea, despite him being on loan at AC Milan from Juventus. And while Milan celebrated his arrival, and he hasn’t played poorly, it appears that the call of working with his manager from his days at Napoli, current Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, might be too much.
Gonzalo Higuain has formally requested a transfer to #ChelseaFC , according to Sky Sport Italia, but #ACMilan and #Juventus are in a complex situation https://t.co/osBUpCugKG #CFC #Argentina pic.twitter.com/CbmZ2Sd0zy— footballitalia (@footballitalia) January 13, 2019
It’s now being reported that Higuain has requested a transfer to Chelsea, despite the fact that he was included in the Milan squad that traveled to the Super Coppa in Saudi Arabia. It’s said that Milan want a replacement if Higuain goes, and Juventus still want to get paid the €36 million that the original deal called for Milan to pay in the summer.
Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso was asked about any potential moves of Higuain after yesterday’s match, and he did not sound positive about Higuain staying at the club. He told Milan TV:
We have a very honest relationship, we say things to people’s faces. There is great honesty. When a player makes certain choices, it becomes difficult to convince him otherwise. One can try.
At this moment, he is a Milan player and we’re holding on tight. I don’t know what will happen. We are honest with each other and I want him to maintain this attitude, which has never been lacking thus far.
Gattuso also said at the press conference that:
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. It’s his mind, not mine. The most important thing is to talk as men, look each other in the eyes and speak the truth.
I haven’t figured out what Higuain is unhappy with, because I see him look content and involved in the locker room atmosphere. We’ll see what happens. If it was up to me, I’d invite him to my house, lock him in a room and throw him food every two to three hours. Unfortunately, I can’t do that.
Taken together, these two quotes certainly make it seem that Higuain wants to leave for Chelsea. And while any move away from Milan wouldn’t make a lot of sense from the club’s point of view, if Higuain is set on a move away, then it would be best to let him go and get a replacement. Alvaro Morata is probably not a choice to replace Higuain, so that part of the deal won’t happen, so Milan will have to dip into the transfer market to find another striker.
Milan should also take into account Patrick Cutrone appears ready to start and be the star striker at the club, despite his young age. So while it might be tempting to shell out a ton of cash on a more “proven” option, it might just be best to grab an experienced striker who can come off the bench or be a spot starter while Cutrone fulfills his destiny as the striker of the future for Milan.