Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici says Gonzalo Higuain will remain on loan at AC Milan, subsequently ruling out a move to Chelsea this month.
The 31-year-old Argentine striker was heavily linked with the Blues last summer, where former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri took charge, before deciding to join Milan on a temporary basis.
Why do Chelsea want Higuain? Five key things to know…
- Higuain and Chelsea boss Sarri worked together for one season (2015/16) before the former moved to Juventus.
- The former Real Madrid marksman bagged 38 goals across 42 matches under Sarri.
- Chelsea have struggled for goals this season: of the Premier League’s top six clubs they’ve scored the fewest (38).
- Eden Hazard is the club’s leading scorer (10 goals) with traditional centre-forwards Álvaro Morata (5) and Olivier Giroud (1) having registered just six between them.
- Higuain, though, has bagged six goals in 15 league appearances for AC Milan this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival meant Juve’s attack became crowded, thus forcing Higuain to consider his future at Italy’s number one club.
He ultimately chose to remain in Serie A and join AC Milan on a season-long loan, with the Rossoneri having the option to sign him on a permanent basis.
However, it hasn’t ended speculation of another move this season, notably linking up with his former Napoli boss Sarri at Stamford Bridge, but according to Juve’s sporting director, the feeling is he’ll continue to be a Milan player.
“He remains one of the best strikers in the world, he showed it in these seasons in Europe, he scored everywhere,” he told reporters (via the Evening Standard).
“About his future, I think he’s important for AC Milan, he’s a great striker and they want to keep him.
“I know very well Gonzalo, he is a simple and passionate guy who lives every situation with great enthusiasm. It can happen even to the best players not to score for four or five games.”
Higuain in Milan
Since joining Milan, who are seeking a Champions League return, last summer, the French-born marksman has been manager Gennaro Gattuso’s go-to marksman when available.
So far this season, he’s missed four of Milan’s opening 19 league fixtures. A muscle injury saw him sit out their matches against Empoli and Sassuolo last summer before recently serving a two-match suspension.
In the matches Higuain has featured, he’s bagged six goals. His efforts currently leave him eight behind Serie A’s top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo who essentially took his spot in Turin and has 14 league goals so far.
Reaching double figures in a Serie A season hasn’t been an issue. Across his last five season’s Higuain has bagged 17 goals (2013/14), 18 (2014/15), 36 (2015/16), 24 (2016/17) and 16 (2017/18).