Chelsea confirmed the signing of Gonzalo Higuain on loan until the end of the season with an option for a further 12 months on Wednesday and the Argentine has already been given the club’s No.9 shirt, worn by Alvaro Morata last season.
With Chelsea having signed Higuain, Morata will return to Spain and join Atletico Madrid on an initial loan deal with an option to buy for a reported £43.7m in the summer.
Morata hasn’t featured for Chelsea since the 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest in which he netted both goals but refused to celebrate any of the goal.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has now opened up on the reason Morata is leaving the club to join Atletico. Sarri has revealed that Morata told him about a month ago that he wanted to leave.
“Morata is potentially a very good player,” Sarri said. “He has the characteristics for playing in my team, but one month ago he said he wanted to play for another team.
“It was very difficult for him to give us 100 per cent because of his mental situation. He is very suitable for my football, but the situation has changed in the last month, so we needed to change.
“In the January market it is very difficult to get a very good striker. Gonzalo was in a situation we could try to get him, so we decided to try.”
Sarri revealed at the start of the January transfer window that he didn’t want to sign a striker, but with Morata opting for a way out, the Blues boss had to go for Argentina international Gonzalo Higuain.
Higuain has admitted that he’s happy to join the club and didn’t want to miss the opportunity.
He said: “It was an opportunity that when it presented itself I couldn’t miss out on. I’m really excited to be here, to be working with Maurizio Sarri again and to be at a club with so much history.
“I’m just really happy to have completed the move and I hope to achieve all the goals which the club has set for itself between now and the end of the season.”
Higuain, who scored 36 goals in one season with Maurizio Sarri at Napoli, will not be available for Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final clash against Tottenham, but he will have the opportunity to make his debut in the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.