Real Madrid dilemma offers Arsenal only further Higuain confusion

Higuain Goal

Arsenal remain hopeful on signing Gonzalo Higuain.

How close are Arsenal to signing Gonzalo Higuain? Well by all accounts a deal is in place, it is just up to new Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti to hit send on a pre-prepared e-mail in his new inbox.

Reports from Spain discussing Madrid's squad dilemmas for next season present the Gunners with more hope a deal will be agreed, with squad places at a premium.

As reported by daily newspaper AS Carlo Ancelotti has to trim his squad as well as adding to it.

Even after the departures of Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Essien, Madrid had 23 players, but adding Isco and Daniel Carvajal and promoting Jese Rodriguez and Casemiro takes them up to 27.

This is above the 25-man Champions League squad limit, and a figure which is only likely to bloat over the course of the summer with further additions wanted, with Geoffrey Kondogbia, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Gareth Bale and Asier Illarramendi all recently touted as potential targets.

Clearly not all will come in, but the clear assumption as Carlo Ancelotti sets about putting his mark on the squad is that Madrid's incoming transfer business is by no means done.

Simultaneously a list of outgoing players are being prepared, with a handful of players highlighted by AS as potential departees.

Madrid need to sell two players to meet the 25-man squad, but AS speculate that there will be at least two more incoming players, so four players will need to be sold in total to accommodate them.

Goalkeepers Adan and Jesus Fernandez are likely to be moved on, leaving the rest dependent on Madrid's transfer business. Names on the list include Fabio Coentrao, who has made no secret of wanting out, and the quartet of Higuain, Di Maria, Callejon and Kaka.

The Kaka situation is difficult to read, because he was a player who blossomed under Ancelotti previously and may be in for a surprise stay, given that his wages present a stumbling block to anybody wishing to bring him in.

Jose Callejon is being touted around, with Napoli interested, while Angel di Maria's future simply depends on whether any offers for him match Madrid's valuation.

Madrid can take a step towards trimming their squad by quickly shipping out Higuain, as a deal is already in place to do so. But alternatively the situation can be read to take that the new boss will only allow the Argentine to go when a replacement striker is lined up.

Arsenal may well be hoping Edinson Cavani snubs Chelsea to head to Madrid, as that could be the chess piece which finally sees them land their man.

What are Madrid playing at with Higuain? Will they sell early or wait to find a replacement first?

image: © Jan S0L0

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch