Gonzalo Higuain's proposed transfer to Arsenal is reportedly back on, just hours after an agent for Real Madrid denied a deal had been reached. Now The Times,(subscription required) citing reports in the Argentinean press, claim Arsenal have agreed a four-year deal to sign Higuain.
Those reports suggest Arsenal will part with a fee of around £22 million and Higuain will be paid £115,000 per week. That supports previous reports in Spanish outlet AS, that quoted that same figure as the Argentina international's proposed wages at Arsenal.
The back-and-forth to this transfer rumor is becoming bizarre. The press in three different countries seem unable to decide if the deal is on or off.
Arsenal's need for a quality finisher like Higuain is the one thing that is beyond doubt. Embattled manager Arsene Wenger needs the classy Real Madrid striker to act as the focal point of his forward line.
The Gunners' attack was maddeningly inconsistent for much of the 2012/13 campaign. The biggest frustration was the failure of their main strikers to score against the elite of the English Premier League.
Neither Olivier Giroud or Lukas Podolski managed to find the net against Chelsea, Manchester City or Manchester United. As a result, Arsenal were left trailing the big three.
That has been a familiar position for the Gunners during eight years stuck in transition. Wenger has not collected any silverware in that time, despite a few near misses.
Adding a striker able to be prolific against all opposition, is seen as the key to helping Arsenal bridge the gap. It is also supposed to herald a dramatic change in Wenger's spending policy.
Signing Higuain would signal that the Frenchman is prepared to pay the fees needed to land marquee names. The kind of established talent that can turn a solid squad, built on potential, into genuine contenders.
Given how often Arsenal's deal for Higuain has been confirmed and denied, it is probably still wise to be cautious about this latest report.
However, Wenger's interest in the player is obviously real. If he does secure the free-scoring 25-year-old on the terms suggested in The Times, Wenger will have pulled off a major coup.44036