CHELSEA flop Gonzalo Higuain looks set to join Roma on loan this summer, with an option for a permanent move from Juventus in a year’s time.
The Argentine star, 31, is set to join the Italian side in a £9million loan deal with a view to a £27m permanent deal next summer.
Reports in Italy also claim Higuain could immediately be installed as Roma captain should he move to the Stadio Olimpico.
Higuain has struggled to find his form ever since his scintillating 2015-16 season with Napoli, where he scored 36 goals – a Serie A record.
Last season, the former Real Madrid ace struggled on loan at both AC Milan and Chelsea – scoring just 11 league goals in 29 games, including just five for the Blues.
But it was the sheer volume of gilt-edged chances spurned that frustrated fans at Stamford Bridge.
Higuain – who is in Juve’s squad for Sunday’s pre-season friendly against Tottenham – looked a shell of his old self, with his clinical edge clearly lacking.
The Argentine forward joined Juventus from Napoli in 2016, after his record-breaking season – and quickly became a key figure in the side.
He scored 24 goals while playing in all 38 Serie A games that season, before scoring 16 times in 35 matches a year later.
But now, with Cristiano Ronaldo on the books and Paulo Dybala more and more crucial to Juve’s hopes, Higuain appears to be surplus to requirements.
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Juve and Roma could now do even more business with each other this summer, with Luca Pellegrini moving to Turin and Leonardo Spinazzola going the other way already.
However, there is a spanner in the works, with Higuain reportedly wanting to stay at the Serie A champions – and wants to have his contract extended to 2023.
That is in spite of the fact his salary would be cut in half and dropped to £4m a year.