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AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso says his side are doing their best to keep hold of striker Gonzalo Higuain amid rumours of interest from Chelsea.
The striker is on loan from Juventus but has been linked with a January departure, and Gattuso offered an update on the situation after Saturday’s 2-0 Coppa Italia win over Sampdoria, per Sky Sports.
“When a player makes up his mind it becomes hard to convince them otherwise. I have a relationship with him that features great honesty, we say things to one another’s face. At the moment, he’s our player and we’re holding on tightly to him. I don’t know what will happen.
“I’ve talked to him a great deal but it’s hard to give advice because the career of a player only lasts 13-14 years. It’s his mind, not mine. The most important thing is to talk as men, look each other in the eyes and speak the truth.
“I still don’t understand what Higuain’s unhappy about because I see a happy lad, involved in the locker room. We’ll see what happens. If it was up to me, I’d keep him at my house and feed him my dinner.”
Higuain has managed six goals in 15 Serie A appearances for the Rossoneri this season. He’s currently in the midst of a poor run with just one goal in his last 11 outings.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri would like to bring Higuain to Stamford Bridge and the club are in talks over a loan move, according to Jason Burt at the Daily Telegraph. However, Juventus want to sell and a permanent deal could cost Chelsea over £30 million.
Higuain and Sarri worked together at Napoli, and the Argentinian thrived in front of goal:
36 – Gonzalo #Higuain is the player to have scored the most goals in a single Serie A campaign (36 goals). Pipita. https://t.co/OA8sj4le67
Chelsea are in need of a striker with both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud having struggled for goals under Sarri.
The Italian has begun to favour using playmaker Eden Hazard as a false nine, which highlights their need for a striker, according to Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella:
Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella
I’ve got to say, I’m a with Maurizio Sarri (and Antonio Conte before him) on thinking that Eden Hazard as a false 9 is the best fit in the current squad. It also shows a need for a top new striker. https://t.co/07zxFrNs3V
Sarri has discussed Chelsea’s requirements in the January transfer window and said he wants to bring in “two players,” per Goal.
Chelsea’s priority seems to be to sign a striker this winter to provide extra presence in attack and relieve some of the pressure on Hazard’s shoulders.
Gattuso’s comments demonstrate how keen he is to keep hold of Higuain, but the chance of a new start under a manager he knows well is likely to appeal to the 31-year-old.