AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso has confirmed that Gonzalo Higuain's agent is in talks with sporting director Leonardo following reported interest from Chelsea, but said he's hoping the Argentine striker will resist the temptation to re-join Maurizio Sarri.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Higuain's brother, who is also his agent, was in London on Thursday discussing a move to Stamford Bridge.
However, Gattuso wants him to stay in Milan and help them reach the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia on Saturday, when they travel to face Sampdoria.
"Gonzalo's looked good since coming back [from winter break] and he's trained the way I like and I wouldn't have taken the decision to field him against Sampdoria if not," Gattuso told Milan TV on Friday. "There are rumours surrounding him at the moment, but I see the way he's training and the availability he gives me, as well as his professionalism.
"The rest is up to him and his brother, his agent, who's talking to Leonardo, and I hope that he stays for as long as possible. If that's not the case, then we'll have to take a look, but for as long as he is here, he will continue to be a professional and he's not going to be a problem for me."
Higuain, 31, ended an 866-minute scoring drought in Milan's 2-1 win over SPAL on Dec. 29, taking him to six goals for the season.
He is on an €18-million season-long loan from Juventus with a €36m clause to make the deal permanent in the summer, meaning Chelsea would have to negotiate with the Bianconeri as well as the Rossoneri to sign him this winter.
His best season to date came in his final season under Sarri at Napoli, when he scored a Serie A-record 36 goals in 35 games.