Chelsea open talks on £65m record deal for Gonzalo Higuain

Chelsea open talks on £65m record deal for Gonzalo Higuain

EXCLUSIVE

Chelsea have been quoted a British record transfer fee of £65 million to sign Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli as they make moves to sign a top-class forward this summer.

Higuain is the preferred choice of incoming manager Antonio Conte to lead the line next season and the Blues hoped to agree a fee worth around £42m.

Chelsea are believed to have made an approach to Napoli in the last week and were told that the 28-year-old Argentine will cost £65m after a stunning campaign which ended with the No.9 breaking the Serie A goalscoring record with 36 for the season.

The Blues are now weighing up a formal bid for Higuain but fear Napoli will not drop their asking price, especially as they are keen to agree a new contract with the former Real Madrid man.

Chelsea are desperate to sign a new striker this summer and have been considering re-signing Romelu Lukaku from Everton and Juventus forward Alvaro Morata, who is Arsenal’s top target for the transfer window.

Lukaku has himself been valued at £65m by Everton but, at the age of 23, could have more long-term value than Higuain. The Belgian was sold to the Toffees two years ago for £28m but is open to a return to Stamford Bridge, despite his father suggesting he would prefer to join Manchester United or Bayern Munich.

“I think a transfer will be done before the Euros,” Roger Lukaku told the Belgian magazine Humo. “Right now, I think the most suitable clubs for him are Bayern Munich or Manchester United.”

Chelsea may also rival Arsenal for Morata, with Real Madrid expected to activate a £23.7m buy-back clause in the Spaniard’s contract and then sell him on for more than £30m.

Conte is in the market for a striker after Diego Costa’s disappointing season in which he scored just 12 Premier League goals and was left out of the Spain squad for Euro 2016.

The 27-year-old is believed to be seeking a return to Atletico Madrid this summer and Chelsea are hoping to receive a fee worth close to £40m.

Fellow strikers Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao will both leave Chelsea after the club decided against renewing their loan moves, while Loic Remy will be sold.

Gonzalo Higuain boasts a 25% conversion rate in Serie A this season.