Chelsea complete loan signing of Higuain from Juventus

Joe Williams
MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23: Gonzalo Higuain of AC Milan celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Atalanta BC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on September 23, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Chelsea have completed the signing of Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain on loan for the rest of the season.

The 31-year-old Argentina international spent the first half of the campaign at AC Milan, scoring eight times in 22 appearances.

His move to Stamford Bridge sees him reunite with Blues manager Maurizio Sarri after the pair previously worked together at Napoli.

Higuain, who will not be available for Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Tottenham, said he was keen to repay Chelsea’s faith in him.

“When the opportunity to join Chelsea presented itself I had to take it,” he told the club’s website.

“It’s a team I’ve always liked that has a lot of history, a wonderful stadium and they play in the Premier League, a league I’ve always wanted to play in.

“I now hope I can give back that trust Chelsea have shown me out on the pitch. I can’t wait to start and I hope to adapt as soon as possible.”

Higuain, who has been capped 75 times by his country, scored just once in his final 12 appearances for Milan.

But his record of 36 goals in 35 Serie A games in 2015-16, his one season at Napoli under Sarri, has persuaded Chelsea to compromise on their usual policy of not signing players aged over 30 for vast sums.

Higuain’s arrival means Spanish striker Alvaro Morata is now expected to leave west London.

Manager Sarri believes former Real Madrid man Higuain can contribute more than just goals as the Blues battle for a top-four Premier League finish and Champions League qualification.

“It’s very difficult in January to find one of the most important strikers in the world. So I think the club is working very well because it’s not easy to get a new striker,” said Sarri.

“We hope he’ll bring goals, that he starts scoring for us. He’s also very good at other aspects, other than just goals, but that’s what we are hoping for.

“He has had some difficulties recently, but we’re hoping we can raise him back to his best form.”

Juve revealed the existence of two long-term financial options attached to the deal, with Chelsea able to sign Higuain outright during the loan spell for around £31.3million.

A statement on read: “The agreement also grants to Chelsea the options to extend the duration of the loan until 30 June 2020, for a consideration of 18 million euros (£15.7million) to be paid in 2019-20 financial year, or to acquire the registration rights of the player on a permanent basis for 36 million euros (£31.3million) to be paid in two financial years.”