Juventus and Milan being in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for Wednesday night’s Suppercoppa has made the Gonzalo Higuain rumor cycle speed up a notch or two. And it makes for the perfect kind of chance to hammer what was once a summer transfer saga into now one that has extended into January even though Pipita actually changed clubs over the summer.
Maybe, just maybe, a resolution has been found.
According to transfer reporter Alfredo Pedulla on SportItalia airwaves on Monday night, Juventus and Chelsea have agreed to an 18-month loan deal — no price known right now — that would see Higuain’s long-awaited reunion with Maurizio Sarri actually take place. The reported loan deal would also include a buy option in 2020, but seeing as Higuain would have one more year on his current contract and be ever-closer to his mid-30s, that might not be the most appealing one to take up.
SportItalia's @AlfredoPedulla claims there is an agreement between Chelsea and Juve for the 18-month loan of Higuain with a buy-out option set in 2020. pic.twitter.com/qdV5faGhEs— TheMilanBible (@TheMilanBible) January 14, 2019
This kind of loan deal construction would, according to our blog friends at We Ain’t Got No History, allow Chelsea to creatively work its way around the club’s current contract policy for players over the age of 30. (Basically, it’s one-year contracts once you hit the Big 3-0.)
Sunday brought us word from Sky Sport Italia that Higuain had communicated to the Milan front office that he would like to move elsewhere, with Chelsea being the obvious destination. Milan manager Rino Gattuso has been pretty outspoken that he wants to keep Higuain at the San Siro both this season and beyond, but seems to have come to the realization that the 31-year-old Argentine doesn’t see much of a future with the club.
There are obviously other elements to the reported move taking place — Juventus and Milan finding an agreement for early termination of the current loan deal; Milan trying to find a replacement for Higuain as they attempt to not have the second half of the season turn out to be a disaster; Chelsea try to offload Alvaro Morata’s very large salary.
But, if Pedulla is to be believed, then there’s at least one hurdle in this rather complicated move that has been pushed through.