It’s already been a busy January for Chelsea, but it could get even busier and that’s before we consider the apparently real-ish possibility of an incoming transfer ban. Even Maurizio Sarri is paying attention now that he needs a replacement for Cesc Fàbregas. And while Sarri has maintained that he does not need a change at striker, there could very well be action there as well, especially as Álvaro Morata continues to not feature at all, not even on the bench, despite a return to training and full fitness.
Adding further fuel to that potential bonfire is today’s admission from AC Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso that Gonzalo Higuaín has made up his mind about leaving the famous red-and-black shirts.
“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.”
Prior to today’s 2-0 extra-time win for the Rossoneri in the Coppa Italia, in which Higuaín started but did not score, Gattuso also admitted that Higuaín is unhappy for some reason.
“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 keep him at my house and feed him my dinner.”
-Gennaro Gattuso; source: Football Italia
That’s a generous offer, but if the rumors are to be believed, the man Higuaín wants to have dinner with is Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri instead.
How that might or might not work is unclear. Juventus want him off their books, thus the loan to Milan, but since the cash-strapped Rossoneri won’t exercise his buyout clause, Juve would probably sanction a loan-switch in the current transfer window. However, with Higuaín over 30, Chelsea are also highly unlikely to pay the £30m+ it would surely take — though considering that nobody is likely to pay that much, Juve might be willing to lower the fee.
Meanwhile, Morata’s been increasingly linked with various teams in Spain, and while Chelsea are in a similar situation to Juve, where the investment in the player has been far too great to simply cut losses, a loan move for the next 6-18 months might not be the worst thing for Morata himself and for Chelsea’s prospects. If we’ve learned anything over the past couple seasons, it’s that we need a consistent goalscorer to make any tactics truly work.