Real Madrid have revealed that striker Gonzalo Higuain will leave the club this summer, with some reports claiming that the Argentina international has already agreed a move to Arsenal.
There has been speculation for some time linking Higuain with a transfer. A move to the Premier League could be on the cards with Arsenal, along with Manchester City and Tottenham long credited with an interest. Now Madrid’s general manager Jose Angel Sanchez has said that the 25-year-old will be sold after six years at the Bernabeu.
“In a great club like Real, we believe we need two number nines of a high level," Sanchez told L'Equipe.
"We have Benzema and Higuain, Higuain will leave, Benzema will stay and two others will come."
That is sure to spark action from several clubs across Europe, although, according to some reports in Spain, Arsenal have already got an agreement in place. That appears unlikely at this stage, however.
According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal have made an approach for Higuain and have been told that the player will cost £22 million. While that would represent a record transfer fee for the Gunners, it is widely expected that there will be considerable investment in the squad at the Emirates this summer.
A leading striker is thought to be a priority with Nicklas Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh set to leave on permanent deals and Olivier Giroud yet to convince that he can be a prolific scorer at the very highest level.
Higuain is far from the only striker to be linked to the Gunners. Indeed, Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic is reportedly the club’s primary target.
Also linked has been Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke. The Belgium international has scored 19 goals in his first Premier League season and is also said to be interesting Tottenham. The 22-year-old’s agent has now revealed that representatives from Borussia Dortmund were at Villa’s game against Chelsea on Saturday.
Villa manager Paul Lambert, though, has claimed that he doesn’t expect Benteke to leave.
“Christian is just starting on the ladder,” he said, according to the Sun. “He’s been saying he’s really happy here, so I’ve left it at that.”
Another striker thought to be interesting the Gunners, as he is several clubs across Europe, is Saint Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The 23-year-old’s 19 goals in Ligue 1 this season has seen a queue of clubs lining up to try and secure his services. And Aubameyang has strongly suggested that he will be moving on in the summer.
“I cannot fail with my decision, whatever I decide to do will not be a mistake," he said, according to TalkSport.
"The reflection will be long and I want to negotiate with the club that offers the best for me in every way.
"My dream is to one day play for Real Madrid more than anything because my mother is Spanish. Finally, the Daily Mail has reported that Arsenal are close to tying up a deal for young Aston Villa midfielder Danny Crowley. The 16-year-old, who has played for England at youth level, has been linked to current Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere.