Gonzalo Higuain says he chose to join AC Milan over Chelsea because he felt manager Maurizio Sarri was the only person at Stamford Bridge who truly wanted to sign him.
The west London club briefly pursued Higuain over the summer as Juventus looked to raise funds following Cristiano Ronaldo’s big-money arrival, with Sarri a huge fan of a player he coached at Napoli.
The Argentine enjoyed the most prolific season of his career under the Italian, scoring 36 times in the 2015/16 Serie A campaign to earn a move to Juve.
Sarri had wanted a reunion with Higuain, but Chelsea were less keen .
Chelsea have been keen to bolster their frontline, especially while Alvaro Morata continues to misfire, but the 30-year-old Higuain does not fit their current profile of signing.
The Blues are only prepared to offer short-term contracts to players over 30, and as much as Sarri was keen for a reunion, Higuain felt Milan showed far more desire to sign him.
Higuain explained: ‘I have huge respect for Sarri, but he was the only one who wanted me at Chelsea. ‘Here at Milan everyone wanted me.
The motivation and conviction they showed at Milan was fundamental.’
Higuain has joined Milan on an initial one-year loan worth around £16m and the Serie A giants have an obligation to sign him permanently next summer for £32m.
That was a price too steep for Chelsea, while Milan also traded Leonardo Bonucci back to Juventus as part of the deal.