Chelsea make significant step in Gonzalo Higuain transfer as agent arrives in London

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Gonzalo Higuain to Chelsea: AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso drops transfer hint

Chelsea's bid to sign striker Gonzalo Higuain has taken a significant step, with his agent having travelled to London on Thursday morning.

Higuain wants to cut short his season-long loan from Juventus to AC Milan to move to Stamford Bridge.

The striker’s brother, Nicolas, who is also his representative, was in the capital on Thursday and while the purpose of the visit has not been divulged, it is suspected he has come to sound out Chelsea’s interest.

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As things stand, the Argentina international is set to be part of AC Milan’s squad who face Sampdoria in the Italian Cup on Saturday. The club then travel to Saudi Arabia where they take on Higuain’s parent club Juventus in the Italian Super Cup. That clash is seen as a chance for both clubs to sit down and discuss the 31-year-old’s situation.

AC Milan have an option to pay £32million in the summer to make the switch permanent. Juventus want Chelsea to adhere to the same terms to have Higuain on loan for the season.

The Chelsea hierarchy are unwilling to pay such a large transfer fee at the end of the campaign for an ageing player, which was the case back in the last window when coach Maurizio Sarri first asked for him. Higuain thrived under Sarri at Napoli. In his last season at the club in 2015-16, he scored a remarkable 38 goals. But he has scored just eight times in 20 appearances for AC Milan.

Even if the three clubs can come up with an arrangement, AC Milan will still need a replacement up front. They still have the possibility of doing a swap deal involving Alvaro Morata, who wants to leave Chelsea.

Moving on? AC Milan could take Morata as part of a deal to bring Higuain to Chelsea (REUTERS)

Morata’s agent Juanma Lopez is also in London to discuss his client’s next move.

Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are keen to secure his services but AC Milan were the first club to register an interest, before Christmas.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone did not rule out trying to bring Morata back to La Liga. He said: “I can’t confirm or deny anything because coaches wait to see what the club can do.”