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AC Milan set to save Chelsea from Higuaín — reports

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Higuain, provided he gives his okay, looks set to move to AC Milan on loan, keeping Morata at Chelsea

Nigeria v Argentina: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The multitude of meetings, summits, and hot days in Italy and Southern France appear to have finally produced some sort of tangible outcome, though not involving Chelsea directly.

Instead, it sounds like Juventus and AC Milan have come to an agreement, at least in principle, for a complicated multi-player multi-disciplinary deal involving Leonardo Bonucci, Mattia Caldara, and Gonzalo Higuaín. The latter two names have featured heavily in the Chelsea rumor mill as of late, too, but thankfully, we seem to have missed out on spending millions on not-Rugani and even more millions on a declining Higuaín albatross (but apparently flying high on Sarri’s wishlist).

As reported by Goal’s Romeo Agresti, generally considered a trustworthy source on all things Juventus, the deal with the Rossoneri will involve a player swap and as well as a loan-to-buy. Only in Italy!

The deal breaks down as such:

  • Juventus get Leonardo Bonucci back, valued at €40m and having agreed to a €5.5m annual wage packet (£180k per week equivalent?). Certainly steep figures for a player who dropped hard from consideration as one of the world’s best in the last twelve months.
  • AC Milan get somewhat promising Mattia Caldara, for whom Chelsea bid as well, valued also at €40m, but presumably on significantly lower wages and a much longer career ahead of him.
  • And the pièce de résistance: Gonzalo Higuaín on loan to Milan, with an option to buy. It’s basically a €54m transfer fee for Higuaín, broken down into an €18m up-front loan fee and then €36m at the end of the season. Right now this option doesn’t appear to be binding, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out to be so.

While the Caldara-for-Bonucci swap seems quite lopsided in Milan’s favor, especially in the long-term, Juventus have been trying desperately to offload Higuaín. They painted themselves into a tough corner, and this is a decent solution for all involved.

Higuaín of course still has to agree and he holds the key. Assuming those personal terms or whatnot get successfully hashed out, Milan will get the striker they wanted and even a defender to boot.

It’s not a cheap solution for them either, though still cheaper than if they forked out the price that Chelsea were supposedly demanding for Alvaro Morata ... who’s now definitely looking likely to stay at Chelsea and hopefully improve from his first season (as soon as he gets back from attending the birth of his twins, or as we call them around here, an N’Golo Kanté).