Arsenal are locked in a bidding war with Juventus to secure the signing of Gonzalo Higuain with the Real Madrid striker believed to have provisionally agreed terms with both clubs. The Gunners have met with representatives of Higuain in recent days and it appears that those negotiations have been fruitful. The players’ father and agent has revealed that they are now just waiting for Madrid to sanction his departure.
“Nothing has yet been signed but I assure you the negotiations between the clubs are at an advanced stage,” Jorge Higuain said, according to the Sun. “We won’t agree a contract before the clubs reach a transfer deal. I’m sure Arsenal made a big offer, and Juventus.”
Spanish journalist for Sky Sports and AS, Guillem Balague has reported that Higuain has actually come to an agreement over his personal terms with Arsenal and Juventus. Madrid president Florentino Perez has previously claimed that it would take an offer in excess of €30 million (£25.5m) for Higuain, who has asked to leave, to be sold. The transfer could be a test of Arsene Wenger’s willingness to finally commit significant funds toward bolstering the squad this summer.
The Daily Mail believes that Wenger is intent on pushing the boat out in the transfer window and will add to the signing of Higuain by pairing the Argentina international in a high-profile new attack with Wayne Rooney. It is even claimed that the Gunners will not be put off by the England international’s wages of a reported £250,000 a week.
The chances of Rooney moving to the Emirates look slim, however. The Guardian has reported that Manchester United will offer Rooney a new contract when he meets new manager David Moyes this week. While those talks could go awry, it is difficult to see Arsenal being prepared to offer the 27-year-old better terms that United. The Premier League champions would also surely be keen to sell Rooney overseas if he is to leave Old Trafford.
Deals for Higuain and Rooney, combined with their wages, would take up a huge chunk if not all, of Arsenal’s available funds. There are surely other areas of the side Wenger will be keen to strengthen, including defensive midfield.
Indeed, Goal.com believes that Arsenal have activated the €25.5m release clause (£21.7m) in Marouane Fellaini’s Everton contract, which allows him to leave for a club in the Champions League. According to the website, discussions over the Belgium international are already underway with the player rejecting an opening proposal of €82,000 (£70,000) a week. Other publications are less committal about their reports. The London Evening Standard states that Arsenal are still deliberating whether to meet, what they believe is a £23 million release clause.
The potential move for Fellaini could mean that Wenger’s interest has dampened in Celtic’s defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama. If the Gunners are to make a move, they will have to act quick with the Daily Mail reporting that Southampton have had a £10 million bid accepted for the Kenyan. Earlier this month, the 21-year-old’s former coach revealed that Arsenal have a major interest in the player.