For a while, the momentum behind Gonzalo Higuaín’s inevitable move from the Santiago Bernabéu was pushing the Argentine north, with Arsenal set to not only pay a record fee for the striker (which would mean more than the £15 million they’ve shelled out for Andre Arshavin and Santi Cazorla) but also stretch their self-imposed wage constraints to bring the 25-year-old into the fold. Yet earlier today, in one of Italy’s sports dailies, a counterpoint was finally offered, one that came from a source that should give Gooners pause. After all, when somebody’s father speaks, it deserves some special consideration; especially when that father is a former professional soccer player himself.
Jorge Higuaín had a professional career that spanned three decades, one that briefly took him to France in between stints at Boca Juniors and River Plate. The man is obviously aware of how world soccer works, his characterizations aren’t those of a lay family member mesmerized by a tape recorder and some attention
On Monday, however, his name was in the news in association with his son, who was prominently linked with Juventus before Arsenal started considering which locker he’d occupy at the Emirates. But according to Jorge, there’s still a chance Gonzalo could end up in Turin.
Via Gazzetta dello Sport:
“I assure you negotiations are advanced with both Arsenal and the Bianconeri. Real will decide.”
“Nothing has been signed yet, but I can assure you that negotiations between the clubs are at an advanced stage.”
“We won’t get to any agreement on the contract before an understanding has been reached for the transfer. I’m sure that Arsenal have made a strong offer, just as Juve have.”
Using the same between the lines logic we applied to Aurelio de Laurentiis’s Edinson Cavani thoughts, we can pull a few tidbits from Higuaín’s statements:
- First, an exit seems inevitable (but we were already assuming that).
- Second, it’s not as close as many reports have implied, since personal terms haven’t been negotiated.
- And finally, there’s nothing in his statements that distinguish Arsenal from Juventus, as far as which club might have the upper-hand. In fact, he lays that at Real Madrid’s feet, so while us English-loving consumers may be gobbling up connections to North London, that may be a function of our bias. It sounds like there’s little to distinguish Arsenal from Juventus, right now.
Both would be spectacular destinations for a world-class talent whose time has passed at Real Madrid. Juventus are the two-time defending Serie A champions who have a brand new facility in Turin, while Arsenal are also one of the world’s marquee clubs, have amazing facilities, and play in the world’s most popular domestic competition.
You could say there’s no wrong choice, but it sounds like Gonzalo’s not making the decision. The Higuaíns see the striker’s future in Real’s hands.