Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Missing Out on Gonzalo Higuain Would Be Blessing

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 29:  Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Super Cup second leg match betwen Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 29, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Finally, an end to the Gonzalo Higuain saga may be near, and luckily for Chelsea, he's going to be wearing a different shade of blue.

For so long, it looked like the 25-year-old was destined for Arsenal. The Guardian's Sid Lowe reported personal terms had already been agreed between Higuain and the Gunners. Then came Florentino Perez's denial that Arsenal had made any bid for the player.

Chelsea later threw their name into the hat as Spanish paper AS reported Jose Mourinho wanted the player at Stamford Bridge, according to the Daily Mirror's Ed Malyon.

However, it now appears the scourge of Blues supporters everywhere, Rafael Benitez, has jumped ahead in the race for Higuain's signature.

Corriere dello Sport report Napoli have agreed to a £35 million fee with Real Madrid for the striker, according to Football Italia.

Sky Italia has most recently reported the fee would be €37 million, plus €3 million in bonuses, but that Napoli still need to agree a contract with the player, per European football journalist Dylan Fahy. 

The first problem with the Higuain transfer is that he's vastly overpriced. When Lowe was reporting that Arsenal had agreed to terms with the player, the fee was supposedly around £23 million. That was a much more reasonable price tag and probably even slightly below Higuain's market value.

Now, his fee has risen about £10 million in the span of a few weeks for no discernible reason, other than the fact Madrid wanted it to.

Of course, a team is perfectly within its right to change an asking price.

That doesn't mean a buyer has to meet it.

The Spanish club has clearly made the player expendable, so it doesn't make sense to meet their valuation. A potential buyer should bargain much harder and agree to a much more friendly fee.

If Napoli wants to pay that much for the player, so be it. Chelsea shouldn't be so foolish.

While Higuain has a solid record at Madrid, he hasn't done enough to warrant spending €40 million. It's just another example of an overly inflated transfer for a big-name player.

What should be the biggest stumbling block for Chelsea is that they already have a talented young striker in Romelu Lukaku.

The 20-year-old has had a strong preseason. He looks every bit the kind of forward who can lead the line for the Blues next season. Lukaku is powerful enough to shrug off opposing defenders. He's also skilled enough on the ball and in the air to hold the ball up and find his teammates when playing as a target man. With his experience on loan at West Brom last season, Lukaku is primed for a huge jump in 2013/14.

Plus, Mourinho also has the recently arrived Andre Schurrle, who can fit in as a secondary striker.

You've got two talented strikers right there. Roman Abramovich has big pockets, but spending €37 million for another forward seems a bit over the top.

If the Blues are dead set on buying a striker, Wayne Rooney would be a much better target. He's going to be a little more expensive, and he's a couple of years older, but Rooney won't need much of a transition. He also offers more tactical flexibility. He's a much safer option overall than Higuain.

Of course, Chelsea would be fine standing pat with what they have. There's no reason to get too antsy and open up the checkbook for no reason. Should the Napoli deal go through, it could be one of the best things Benitez has ever done for the Blues.