Chelsea may not get the loan deal for Gonzalo Higuain completed in time for him to play against Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg, with concerns about rushing him straight into Thursday’s game.
The Argentine would have to sign by midday on Wednesday in order to be eligible for the game, and the deal moved a step closer when AC Milan signed his replacement on Tuesday, Krzysztof Piatek.
Chelsea accept that may well play the semi-final second leg, which they trail 1-0, without Higuain in the squad. The priority is for him to be fully fit and ready to take his place in Maurizio Sarri’s team for the last four months of the season.
His new team-mates have had the last three days to digest Sarri’s criticism of them in the wake of Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates. The signing of Higuain is at his instigation and is the kind of expensive deal that the club would usually avoid.
Their deal for the Genoa striker Piatek went through for a fee of €35million meaning that Higuain would be free to leave. It is expected that his loan deal between Milan and Juventus will be taken over by Chelsea with an obligation to buy only if they finish in the top three or win the Europa League.