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Arsenal deal for Gonzalo Higuain delayed by a €7.5 million release clause for a former Chelsea manager

Gonzalo Higuain

Arsenal may sign Gonzalo Higuain, but it won't be imminent.

Arsenal have been linked with signing Gonzalo Higuain repeatedly over the past month, and it was claimed at the weekend that Arsene Wenger had flown to Paris to speak directly with his representatives.

How effective the Arsenal manager's pitch was, fans will have to wait to find out, because a figurative game of chess between Real Madrid and PSG is delaying the Argentine's future.

This was revealed yesterday by the general director of Juventus, Giuseppe Marotta, who had also hoped to close a deal for the prolific striker.

A legends game between Real Madrid and Juventus at the Bernabeu at the weekend, with Zinedine Zidane the star attraction, provided the perfect opportunity for the top brass of the two clubs to get together and thrash out a deal.

But Juventus were left frustrated, as Marotta told reporters after the charity match: "Real Madrid wants to wait until the new coach is announced. We'll gladly meet with them then".

And it makes sense, for can you imagine Manchester United sanctioning a sale of Wayne Rooney before appointing David Moyes as manager?

The problem here for Juventus and Arsenal is that the deal to bring in the coach of their choice is showing no signs of being completed any time soon.

They want PSG's Carlo Ancelotti, but negotiations are ongoing and have been for several weeks now, with all parties getting frustrated.

PSG want Real to meet the Italian's €7.5 million release clause, which they have not done yet. Carlo Ancelotti wants to join Madrid, but can't until the two clubs play ball.

The latest claims are from a source close to the PSG camp, who said: "If Real Madrid wants Ancelotti, they'll have to call us and make an offer."

Madrid can afford to pay the clause but are simply being stubborn about meeting PSG's demands as they felt they had an earlier agreement for less.

Meanwhile Le Parisien claimed a source close to Ancelotti said: "Carlo is very disappointed with the behaviour of Paris Saint-Germain's management. He has no news from them and does not understand their strategy, he is tired of it all."

PSG are within their rights to play hardball, as their problem is that they are yet to identify and approach a replacement for the manager.

Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho were said to be candidates but have both moved elsewhere, while any advances for Arsene Wenger would also clearly be rebuffed.

At present the status quo is that Ancelotti remains the PSG coach for next season, with the situation dragging on for well over a month now. 

To resolve it Real Madrid really need to simply stump up the cash for his release clause, but clearly hold no intention of simply bowing down to PSG' demands.

Until this mess is resolved, Arsenal and Juventus' chances of signing Gonzalo Higuain remain on ice, and probably for a little after that with former Chelsea coach Ancelotti likely to want to talk with the player despite his assertions he wants to leave.

This one could drag on until July and August, leaving Arsenal with a deliberation as to whether they should wait it out, or try and move swiftly for another striker instead.

What should Arsenal do about the delay for Higuain? Is he worth waiting for?

image: © Jan S0L0

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