Arsenal Transfers: Real Madrid Striker Gonzalo Higuain 'Agrees to Join Gunners'

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2013

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger looks to be making his first moves in the summer transfer window early this year with the news that the Gunners have already made agreements with Real Madrid for the signing of striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Reports coming out of Spain indicate that both personal terms with the forward and a transfer fee with the Spanish side have already been sorted, according to (in Spanish).

Arsenal will pay a reported €22 million (£19 million, $27 million) to sign the Argentinian international, who has made 26 La Liga appearances for Real this season and is their second-highest goalscorer with 14 strikes. Higuain has been at the Santiago Bernabeu since 2007 and has scored 105 times in La Liga since then in only 188 appearances.

Such an impressive strike rate will no doubt come across as an impressive show of intent from the Gunners this early in the transfer season, with the window for registering players not even open yet and the present Premier League season still having two matches to run for Arsenal.

However, the deal is not quite cut-and-dried; the report indicates that Higuain joining the Gunners is dependent on them qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for next season.

Arsenal are still in the driving seat to achieve that. Though they are in fifth place at present, they are just two points behind Tottenham Hotspur, their North London rivals, but have a match in hand.

Should the Gunners defeat relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic on Tuesday, then they will leapfrog Spurs into fourth place, good enough to qualify for the top continental competition next term if they hold that spot for the final match of the season, which is against Newcastle United on Sunday.

Worryingly for the Gunners, who clearly see Higuain as integral to their chances of strengthening the squad over the summer, Spurs are also reported to be in the running to sign him—and if they end the season in fourth instead of Arsenal, the striker could well turn to White Hart Lane for his Premier League move instead.

Arsene Wenger already has Olivier Giroud, who has scored 11 league goals this season, as his first-choice centre-forward this season while Theo Walcott, Gervinho and Lukas Podolski have all played up front too.

Signing a player of the calibre of Higuain, though, would be a massive boost for the Gunners, especially with him being at a top-class club and chased by a number of other teams.

Time will tell if the Gunners can indeed beat FA Cup winners Wigan this week to put themselves back in the top four—which seems to be the first step to making this transfer signed and sealed.

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