Arsenal could still face competition from Juventus for the capture of Gonzalo Higuain, despite reports continuing to state that the Gunners have agreed personal terms with the Real Madrid striker. Various sources on Thursday claimed that meetings between the player’s representatives and Arsenal had led to an agreement in principle over a financial package that would make him the club’s highest-paid player.
Initially, it was believed that Juventus were the front runners for Higuain’s signature having held talks with Madrid president Florentino Perez. Reports since have suggested that the Italian champions had switched their attentions to Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez, although director general Beppe Marotta hinted that their interest had far from ended.
“Higuain? I do not want to say anything because there is still so much time left for things to happen,” he told Sky Sports. And he way also coy about their pursuit of Tevez and Arsenal target Stevan Jovetic. “There is no hurry,” he added. “They are both great players but they are also with great clubs, so it would not be right to discuss them. I do not want to create an illusion that things are already in motion."
The latest report on Higuain comes from Goal.com, which claims that representatives of Arsenal have traveled to Madrid to try and agree a fee for the 25-year-old. It is believed that Madrid are holding out for €30 million (£25.5m), although Arsenal will hope to strike a compromise for less. A deal is unlikely to be signed off, however, until Madrid appoint their new manager. With Paris Saint-Germain’s apparently imminent appointment of Laurent Blanc set to free up Carlo Ancelotti to move to the Spanish capital, that could be sooner rather than later.
If Arsenal’s second biggest shareholder has his way, Higuain will not be the only big-name forward moving to the Emirates this summer. Alisher Usmanov has long called for greater investment in the playing squad but his influence has been curtailed by not being allocated a seat on the board. Yet, the Russian oligarch has made his feelings known about Arsenal’s interest in Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. “He is a great player, there would be great success for Rooney [if he joined Arsenal], and for Arsenal too,” he said, according to ESPN.
Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is monitoring Rooney’s situation. The England international’s future remains uncertain after he denied claims from Sir Alex Ferguson that he had handed in a transfer request. According to the Sun, Wenger is also keen on Croatian youngster Tin Jedvaj. The 17-year-old central defender was thought to be close to joining Roma from current club Dinamo Zagreb, but the Italian side are believed to have failed with a £5 million bid. That could open the door for Arsenal, with Wenger reportedly lining up an offer of £6 million.
There has also been talk that Arsenal could resuscitate their interest in long-time target Yann M’Vila. The France international defensive midfielder was perennially linked to the Gunners, but poor discipline and a drop in his performances on the pitch eventually saw him leave Rennes for Russian side Rubin Kazan in January.
Talksport now reports that the 22-year-old could be on the move against this summer with supposed interest from Anzhi Makhachkala. With Arsenal after a defensive midfielder this summer, the Emirates is again suggested as a possible destination for M’Vila.