Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wantaway Morata May Have to Stay at Chelsea; / Coverage in Association With

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wantaway Morata May Have to Stay at Chelsea; / Coverage in Association With

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson

CHELSEA are considering keeping club-record buy Alvaro Morata this season as it emerges they have yet to even lodge a bid for Gonzalo Higuain.

Morata joined Chelsea from Real Madrid for PS58m last July, but struggled to adapt to the Premier League and living in London. It is believed he wants a return to Serie A, where he spent two reasons at Juventus between 2014-16.

However, Juventus, who made an inquiry for the Spain forward earlier this summer, no longer need him after signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

AC Milan are interested but are struggling to afford the PS58m fee Chelsea want, plus his wages. The same goes for Higuain, who is available from Juventus and is understood to prefer a switch to the San Siro rather than Stamford Bridge.

AC Milan got in touch with Higuain's brother and agent Nicolas this week but are loath to pay his PS130,000-a-week wages, while Juventus want PS54m for the 30-year-old.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia met Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici in Italy yesterday, but it was believed the discussion was focused on finalising the PS44.2m transfer of defender Daniele Rugani, rather than on Higuain.

Higuain is a player new Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri would like in his squad, but the hierarchy are reluctant to spend so much on an ageing forward.

Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta said: "Milan or Chelsea? No official offers have arrived. I feel that the arrival of Ronaldo has created an attack of good quality but also of quantity. We will evaluate Higuain's future with those affected. He's an important player for us but we're talking to him and trying to decide what's the best solution for everyone."

AC Milan failed to comply with UEFA's Financial Fair Play Rule last season, but had a ban from European competition overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last week. …

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