Gonzalo Higuain
Gonzalo Higuain has been told he can leave Real Madrid and is close to completing a move to Arsenal. [Reuters]

Arsenal are now the firm favourites to sign Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain after Juventus made it clear that the only player they would consider signing is Fiorentina hitman Steven Jovetic.

It was believed that the Italian side were keen to offer Higuain the chance to prove his quality in Serie A but after signing Carlos Tevez from Manchester City, they have no need for the Argentina international.

The Italian champions may well have been an attractive option for the Madrid striker but it seems the club are happy with their options in attack, though they have suggested they may enter the race for highly-rated Fiorentina star Jovetic.

"Jovetic was an assumption, but right now we are full up front," Juventus director Guiseppe Marotta told Spanish daily AS. "The Montenegrin is liked by Real Madrid, but [Antonio] Conte is aware of everything.

"We want five forwards and now we have [Mirko] Vucinic, [Alessandro] Matri, [Fabio] Quagliarella and [Sebastian] Giovinco, plus the additions of Tevez and [Fernando] Llorente."

Arsenal had previously been linked with Jovetic but over the course of the last few weeks it is Higuain who has emerged as manager Arsene Wenger's top target.

The Gunners have already signed young French striker Yaya Sanogo but he is very much viewed as one for the future, while Higuain would be viewed as a player who can make an instant impact in the first team.

The 25 year old has been told that he has no future at Real Madrid despite scoring more than 100 league goals for the club since joining from River Plate back in 2006.

Arsenal are believed to be in negotiations with the Spanish club as they attempt to agree a transfer fee, with reports suggesting that they are unwilling to bid more than £21m for the striker.

It was reported last month that Higuain had already agreed terms with Arsenal and was likely to receive a salary of £130,000-a-week.