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Meeting next week could affect Arsenal's chances of signing Higuain

Arsenal are interested in signing Gonzalo Higuain, and next Monday could prove crucial in that pursuit.

Arsenal are interested in signing Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid, with Catalan newspaper Sport claiming a provisional deal is in place between the two clubs.

It has already been reported that any deal is dependent on the Gunners qualifying for the Champions League, an issue which will be resolved over Arsenal's final two Premier League matches, against Wigan and Newcastle.

Two wins will see them clinch a top four place, but expecting Higuain to fall straight into their arms as a result will not be quite so simple.

This is due to Juventus' interest, and while they were warned off a deal by former manager Luciano Moggi who said the Argentine does not possess 'Juventus DNA', the Turin club are expected to push ahead with their pursuit.

A meeting is scheduled next week, which has been in the diaries several days now, and reported again last night, for May 20 in Madrid, between Juventus, Real Madrid, and the player's representatives.

The aim is to thrash out a deal, with Juventus and Madrid still differing on price, and given the desire of Juventus' negotiators to fly all the way to Spain to discuss the deal it is very apparent they are serious about the transfer.

By that time Arsenal's Champions League qualification, or lack of it, will have been established, which will give Madrid a chip to play with when bargaining with Juventus.

If Juventus are not prepared to match Arsenal's offer, a reported £18.5 million, then the chances of the player heading to North London will increase.

There is a chance of that happening because Juventus are tough negotiators, as seen with their paltry offer for Robin van Persie last summer which saw them lose out on the Dutchman altogether, and how much they want Higuain is really going to be tested with Arsenal's offer apparently already on the table.

It's difficult to predict which way the Argentine will choose and where he will end up, but it appears despite Arsenal's interest the meeting between Juventus and Madrid is still on - which puts them in the driving seat.

For now the Gunners must concentrate on winning their two remaining games and cross their fingers the meeting next Monday does not see them lose out on the striker they are chasing.

image: © Jan S0L0

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