Gonzalo Higuain should have been wheeled out as an Arsenal player by now, right? According to various quotes mismatched from England to Argentina and back again and claims from outlets all looking for the next trump card, it's just the medical which remains to make the striker an Arsenal man. That's what all the reporting today and yesterday has been, even in Italy. The poor Italian media, so keen for Juventus to sign every player on the planet had even begun to give up the ghost themselves and move on to harassing new players, mainly Carlos Tevez. The usual 'betting suspended' tweets have done the rounds and prompted more articles and it's built to something of a frenzy.
However, in Spain it's all been rather quiet. Too quiet, suspiciously quiet. The only reports they've had on Higuain have been covering what's going on in England and the latest update about him on the AS Real Madrid transfer page is 'In England they assume Higuain has signed for Arsenal', that was on the 19th. On Marca, their last Higuain article was on Thursday covering claims from the England and it lasted all of two paragraphs, starting with 'Gonzalo Higuain will play next season at Arsenal, according to Daily Mail.'
The only thing new and original claims in Spain came today from Spanish broadsheet El Confidencial. The newspaper say that all interest is merely rumour for now and headline with 'Real Madrid have not yet received bids for Higuain, Kaka, Di Maria and Coentrao'.
Their article sounds very Real Madrid and Florentino Perez sympathetic, suggesting a leak, and says that despite intense rumours surrounding Gonzalo Higuain, the 'funny thing', as they call it, is that nobody has actually made a formal bid for the player. They haven't received a single formal offer.
That flies in the face of reporting in both Italy and England recently. They say it's a problem which repeats itself year after year for Perez and Madrid, many talk of their players but few can afford them. Whilst in England the media are waiting for Higuain to appear for a medical, in Spain the latest reliable (as far as they can be) report says that a bid hasn't even been made.
So what's going on?
Real Madrid right now are manager-less and probably want to get that sorted out before selling any players, they'd probably like to line up a purchase of their own too before announcing that Higuain is going anywhere. Talks can take place between club and intermediaries for months and a deal can be close without a formal bid actually being made.
This is probably where agents actually earn their money on transfers. Running from club to club (not literally, then they'd really be earning their money) and asking if they'd accept such amount or pay such amount, this could either be Higuain's reps, or ones appointed by either club. When it's all settled and both sides are ready, the deal can conclude, but only then.
Madrid won't want to look like a loose cannon of a club selling players and not knowing who to buy whilst chasing what increasingly looks like an unrealistic move for Gareth Bale. It's unlikely they'd announce a sale before Ancelotti got his feet under the table and therefore they can just let the agents get on with the dance of trying to sort a fee out whilst being able to, perhaps absolutely correctly, leak that they haven't received a single bid for the player.
Unlike Higuain, the imminent arrival of Carlo Ancelotti is all over the Madrid press and that should smooth things along a little, the club also haven't given up on Isco and would probably prefer to present Ancelotti plus a player, whilst quietly letting the Higuain exit go unnoticed in comparison. Ancelotti isn't likely to be officially announced until July 1st, in order so that he can take advantage of a smaller tax rate for his first fiscal year in the city, based on his Madrid residency.
Perez will also want to make it look like the manager has sanctioned any sales, just in case there's ever a future backlash. Arsenal may want to rush it, and if other clubs drop out that could succeed, but Real Madrid certainly don't think, or at least admit, Higuain is going for a medical anywhere just yet and their friendly media is almost putting a comedic turn on the reporting over here.
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