CHELSEA remain hopeful of bagging striker Gonzalo Higuain in the transfer window as AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso refused to rule out losing the Argentinian.
Gattuso told reporters that he hoped Higuain remained at his club for as long as possible but hinted that the decision was out of his hands.
AFP3 Gonzalo Higuain may end up moving to Chelsea, says AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso
The striker, 31, is currently on loan the San Siro from Juventus, but reports say that he will return to Turin in advance of a move to the Premier League.
Speaking at a press conference, Gattuso said: “Gonzalo is fit, he has presented himself well.
"There is some chatter about him at the moment, but I see how he trains, the availability that he gives me and the professionalism he puts in," he added.
“I hope he stays as long as possible – if it does not, we'll see. (His) professionalism for me will not be a problem."
AFP or licensors3 AC Milan's coach Gennaro Gattuso hugs Gonzalo Higuain
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Milan sporting director Leonardo, the former Brazilian international, has challenged the player to focus on his current club while speculation on his future continues.
He said: ““He has to make a decision and take on his share of the responsibility, not this continual, 'yes, no, I’m not sure’.
"He had a tough moment, he has to put it behind him and get to work. There’s no point following rumours and gossip. He is here right now.”
Getty Images – Getty3 Maurizio Sarri had a good relationship with Higuain at Napoli
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is keen to link up with Higuain again after the striker played for Sarri’s Napoli in 2015-16, bagging 36 goals in 35 Serie A appearances that season.
Signing the player could be difficult, though due to his current loan deal.
Milan paid Juve a £16m loan fee and can make it permanent if they pay a further £32m at the end of the season.