If rumors are to be believed, English champions Manchester United are said to be competing against Premiership rivals Chelsea for Real Madrid's Argentine hitman Gonzalo Higuain, and reports have suggested that United have gone a step ahead by holding talks with the player's club.

Chelsea, reportedly, are preparing a hefty £45 million for Higuain which could make them the strongest contender to land the 23-year-old at Stamford Bridge while United are believed to be only looking for a replacement for Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov whose contract will expire once the current season ends.

Higuain, himself, may fancy a move away from the Bernabeu as Real boss Jose Mourinho prefers French international Karim Benzema as his primary striking option. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, previously, said that he was ready to splash big money to bring quality to the team, and with the current poor form of the club, the board will need to make big improvements to challenge the elite clubs of Europe.

The Blues, however, will know that one of its strikers - Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka or Saloman Kalou - will be set to leave the club in summer and all four players, currently, have been made available for the right price.

Apart from United and Chelsea, Italian giant AC Milan are also said to be interested in the striker, according to a Caughtoffside report.

Gonzalo Gerardo El Pipita Higuain, who arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu from River Plate in 2007 for €13 million, has made 184 appearances for the club and has managed to net 88 goals.