ARSENAL last night smashed their transfer record when they agreed a £23million fee for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Higuain, 25, has been given permission by Madrid to fly to London following weeks of negotiations. And boss Arsene Wenger has made it clear he wants the powerful goalscorer on board when Arsenal head for their tour of the Far East next Thursday.
The deal, which has been confirmed by the player’s father Jorge, comes as a huge relief for Wenger, who had promised Arsenal fans to spend serious money this summer after eight years without winning a trophy.
The Gunners’ previous biggest signing was the £16.5million they paid to sign Santi Cazorla from Malaga last summer and propels the club back into the big time.
Now Wenger wants to build on Higuain’s imminent arrival by pressing ahead with negotiations for Wayne Rooney and Julio Cesar.
Rooney is still weighing up his future at Manchester United but would demand in excess of £200,000 a week.
Brazilian keeper Cesar, who has a £90,000-a-week contract at QPR, will be allowed to leave Loftus Road as a free agent just to get him off the wage bill.
The ex-Inter Milan keeper, 33, wants to stay in London despite interest from Barcelona.
And Wenger believes that the capture of Higuain will convince other world-class stars to join.