Gonzalo Higuain has been left out of the AC Milan squad to face Genoa on Monday, increasing speculation surrounding a move to Chelsea.
The Argentine striker is currently on loan at Milan from Juventus but has only managed eight goals in 22 games in all competitions so far.
Are Chelsea close to signing Higuain? Five key things to know…
- Higuain joined AC Milan on loan from Juventus at the start of the season.
- The Argentine has scored eight goals in 22 games across all competitions this season.
- Reports had already suggested Milan would cut the loan short, with Chelsea emerging as a new destination for Higuain.
- Maurizio Sarri says he has told Chelsea’s board “his opinions” regarding transfer targets.
- Higuain has been left out of the Milan squad to face Genoa on Monday, intensifying speculation.
And with Maurizio Sarri desperate to bolster his striking options in this transfer window, the Italian is reportedly turning to Higuain, who scored 36 goals in 35 games during their time together in the 2015/16 season – a Serie A record for a single campaign.
Milan released their squad for Monday’s fixture via their official Twitter account and while Spanish playmaker Suso returned, Higuain was the most notable absence and is now expected to end his loan spell with the club to join Chelsea until the end of the season.
OFFICIAL: Gonzalo Higuaín has not been included in AC Milan’s matchday squad for their Serie A match against Genoa on Monday. pic.twitter.com/96VYD4xdGl
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) January 20, 2019
Gennaro Gattuso has made no secret of his desire to keep Higuain, but the manager’s comments today suggest that he has admitted defeat in retaining the striker’s services.
He told reporters: “I want to be honest with you all. We had a poor training session today due to all these rumours.
“We spoke after the training session and I did not consider him ready for this game.
“I accept his decision. Surely he could have done more and maybe we could have helped him fit in better.”
Meanwhile, despite the intense speculation, Sarri has been keeping his cards close to his chest in regards to transfers, insisting he is leaving that side of things to club director, Marina Granovskaia.
“I don’t know. I want to be clear, I spoke to Marina two weeks ago, she knows my opinion and then I decided to be focused on the pitch and training,” he told reporters (via the Daily Mail) ahead of Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday.
“I know that Marina is working very hard, but I know nothing about the market. I don’t call her every evening, otherwise, I spend my energy on the market, it is better to spend mental energy on the pitch.”
How fans reacted to Higuain’s Milan absence
Higuain’s omission from the Rossoneri squad certainly sparked great reaction on Twitter, with Chelsea and Milan fans voicing their thoughts.
— Ναωαf GH9 (@RMA_GH) January 20, 2019
— Giovanni Caiazzo (@GiovanniCaiaz14) January 20, 2019
Bye bye Gonzalo….
— ცơცơɧơ – Masuk_ŞɛҠơٳąɧ (@Yoogi79) January 20, 2019
— هيثم (@ihaithamz22) January 20, 2019
Is Piatek any better than Cutrone? Are they similar players?
— andrewbauer (@shelbemustang2) January 20, 2019
Chelsea fans, in particular, have been divided over how successful they think Higuain will be in west London.
— SR (Sarri In) (@KanteBall_) January 20, 2019
A bit like the announcement delay in the summer I’m not even looking forward to him coming now it’s more of a relief.
— CFC Daily (@CFCDaily) January 20, 2019
I feel this could be Shevchenko 2.0 🤦♂️
— Ste (@meamste) January 20, 2019
This guy has flop written all over him…it’s sad we are hanging our hopes on him…
— MrMojoRisin (@ImTheDuDe86) January 20, 2019
Oh man it’s getting “hot” only 48 more hours right? I’ll beleive it when he’s wearing the shirt. I’d be surprised if it’s any time soon.
— Greg Gardner (@GregRGardner) January 20, 2019
Well he better be ready for the spurs game. Can’t stand another false 9 game.
— Sarribawls (@joshmaguire2512) January 20, 2019