Arsenal and Tottenham will go head-to-head over Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain in the summer. The Sunday People reports the Argentine international has told the Spanish club he wants a move to the Premier League.
Higuain is understood to be unhappy in Spain, following limited first team opportunities. The Argentine was a key member of the title-winning squad last year but has found himself playing second fiddle to French striker Karim Benzema this campaign.
Higuain, who joined Madrid in 2006 from hometown club River Plate, has nine goals from 17 La Liga games this season and is expected to cost the north London rivals approximately £22m. However, Spurs will believe they have an edge over the Gunners in this race, given the cordial relations between White Hart Lane and the Santiago Bernabeu following last summer's transfer of Luka Modric.
In addition, Madrid's chase of Spurs winger Gareth Bale and rumours president Florentino Perez has offered Modric in a player-plus-cash deal will also be a factor. A mega bid for the 23-year-old Welshman, involving cash, Modric and Higuain could be on the cards in the summer.
Higuain's arrival is likely to be excellent news for André Villas-Boas, who sorely needs competition for England international Jermain Defoe up front. The club does have Togolese forward Emmanuel Adebayor but, so far, the ex-Arsenal and Manchester City player has not hit the heights he did last season, while on loan to the club.
Arsenal and Higuain
As far as Arsenal are concerned, Arsene Wenger has reportedly already spoken to the player's representatives and the 25-year-old South American, who has over 100 league goals for Madrid, could be the highest-profile signing at the Emirates in a long time, should he make the move.
The Gunners do have Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott but, arguably, none of them (with the exception, perhaps, of Podolski) have the kind of experience and proven top-level quality Higuain can offer.
Wenger was thwarted in his attempt to sign Barcelona forward David Villa in the January and while he may return for the World Cup-winning Spaniard in the summer, should the much younger Higuain be available, it would, admittedly, be a better investment.
It should be noted that the potential transfer of Higuain to either club could rest on who qualifies for the Champions League next season. As of now, the Gunners are outside the top four while Tottenham are third and seven points clear.
Meanwhile, Premier League giants are believed to be monitoring Higuain, with the Mirror and Spanish newspaper AS crediting Manchester City and Chelsea, respectively, with interest.
Arsene Wenger on Bayern Munich Game
Meanwhile, Wenger has more immediate concerns. The Premier League club travel to Munich in midweek, for the second leg of their Champions League knock-out tie against Bayern. Arsenal trail 1-3 from the first leg and need a extra-large sized miracle to avoid elimination from the tournament.
"We're chasing the game in a very difficult environment against a team that has no doubts at all. But our mentality is to go there, not resigned, but ambitious and provoke things, not go there and think 'we will not qualify anyway'... give ourselves a chance to qualify," the Frenchman told his club's Web site.