The most optimistic projections had Chelsea completing the loan transfer of Gonzalo Higuaín by Friday’s midday deadline, so that he could be registered in time for Saturday’s Arsenal match. Unsurprisingly, that has not come to pass, which means that the first game he’s likely to be eligible for is next weekend’s FA Cup match against Sheffield Wednesday or the following Wednesday’s match away to Bournemouth. (He’s ineligible for the second leg of the League Cup final against Spurs on account of not being registered for the first leg.)
Either way, better late than never!
So what’s the hold-up? Despite just about everything seemingly agreed with Higuain, the move has been apparently delayed by the ongoing negotiations of Álvaro Morata’s exit to Atlético Madrid. That’s the word from Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella, while other sources add that Milan’s quest to find a replacement (Piatek, most likely) is still in progress as well, as is Atletico’s initiative to make room for Morata.
As far Morata’s concerned, he’s reportedly already agreed to join Atlético on loan — €3 million loan fee and a €40 million buy-option — but Atléti are still trying to “split the bill” on his wages (they want to pay only 50 per cent), while they also want to thin out the squad at the same time by sending Nikola Kalinic and Gelson Martins on their way.
Alfredo “Hot Days” Pedulla sums up this January’s striker merry-go-round quite well: Piatek (Genoa to Milan) — Higuain (Milan to Chelsea) — Morata (Chelsea to Atletico ) — Kalinic (Atletico to Monaco) ... and presumably Monaco would then pass on Batshuayi?
So just like last January (Giroud - Aubameyang - Batshuayi spinorama), we have a complicated sequence of dominoes to set up and then knock down. No wonder it’s taking a little while...
Meanwhile, Higuain’s happily training with Milan, so let us be patient as well.