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Juventus Transfer News: Gonzalo Higuain Reportedly in Milan for Rossoneri Talks

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 30, 2018

Juventus' forward from Argentina Gonzalo Higuain applauds fans during the trophy ceremony following the Italian Serie A last football match of the season Juventus versus Verona, on May 19, 2018 at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. Juventus won their 34th Serie A title (scudetto) and seventh in succession. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain looks to be edging closer to a Turin exit following reports the Argentina international is moving to AC Milan.

The Rossoneri have been fervently linked with the forward in recent weeks, and La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t ESPN FC's Ben Gladwell) reported he travelled to Milan with his agent, brother Nicolas, on Sunday evening for discussions.

That's despite the fact he was due in Turin for pre-season training with his current employers on Monday afternoon, although missing that appointment will send a loud message regarding his transfer intentions.

Chelsea have also been associated with a move for Higuain, who is said to be valued at €60 million (£53.5 million) by his club.

However, Gladwell's report included quotes from Blues boss Maurizio Sarri, who gave frontman Alvaro Morata a stamp of approval when speaking to Sky Sport Italia: "I'm expecting to see the best of [Alvaro] Morata. He moved well compared to our game in Australia and this makes me very optimistic."

Rumours of an exit have quickly gathered pace in recent months and lie in stark contrast to his status two years ago, when Juve smashed their transfer record to sign the striker from Napoli for €90 million.

However, as Eurosport's Siavoush Fallahi recently pointed out, their decision to part ways with the South American has been fuelled by the fact his signing didn't accomplish what they intended:

Siavoush Fallahi @SiavoushF

Gonzalo Higuain was bought for almost 100 millions by Juventus to win the Champions League. He didn't.

In signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in a new club-record (and Italian record) deal, the Bianconeri have recruited a star who will undoubtedly help more in realising their UEFA Champions League dream.

Juventus blogger Arjun Pradeep referenced Corriere dello Sport's Monday front-page cover, which cited Higuain as a stumbling block for the club in recouping some of Ronaldo's €100 million cost:

Arjun Pradeep @IndianRegista

🇮🇹 📰 | CdS: Higuaín, whom Marotta wants to sell for €55m, was present in Turin. Only Milan target him, offer €20m + Bonuccci while Chelsea are 1st forced to sell Morata. "Cr7 era begins with Juve v busy to complete the team. There's a serious problem, the heavy Argentine." https://t.co/nBcsVKp5cA

The Old Lady already have striker alternatives to Higuain, 30, at their disposal and could field either Mario Mandzukic or Paulo Dybala in that position. Youngsters Moise Kean, 18, and Andrea Favilli, 21, are also beginning to emerge as first-team contenders.

For Milan, last season's loanee Nikola Kalinic has joined Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso's ranks on a permanent basis, but he was expected to be sold on to Atletico Madrid, per Calciomercato.com, although that deal has now gone quiet.

Carlos Bacca, 31, spent last season on loan with Villarreal, and Gattuso recently indicated to the media that the Colombia forward would be free to leave the club: 

"I know he wants to play in Spain again. There are rules to respect and [there must be] a desire to stay at the club.

"I won't force anyone to stay. When I come back to Italy, I'll talk to him and see. If he wants to stay then great, otherwise it's better if he leaves."

The Rossoneri pulled off a coup by signing centre-back Leonardo Bonucci from Serie A rivals Juve last summer, and they could pull off a similar move if they can structure a deal to land Higuain one year on.

The difference this time around is that Juve seem only too willing to sell in order to help balance their books, but convincing Higuain's suitors to match that cost has proved a tough task thus far.

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