Chelsea will not be signing AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain during the January transfer window, with the complexities of the deal making it not viable for the Blues.
Having previously shown an interest in the Argentina international during the summer transfer window, Maurizio Sarri made it clear to the Chelsea hierarchy he was keen to reunite with a player who thrived under him at Napoli.
But with Higuain only currently on loan at Milan from Juventus, It is understood the Premier League outfit were weary of negotiating with two separate clubs during the winter window and will now look elsewhere in their pursuit of a new centre-forward.
Former Real Madrid striker Higuain has struggled for form since swapping Juve for the Rossoneri in the summer, scoring just eight goals in 20 appearances across all competitions.
He also made headlines in November when he was sent off against his parent club, with his reaction to the decision earning him a two-match Serie A suspension.
Such performances have seen some question whether it is wise for Milan to pay the previously agreed €36 million (£32m/$42m) to make the move permanent this summer having already forked out €18m (£16m/$21m) for the original year-long loan.
Nevertheless, the 31-year-old will not be making the switch to Stamford Bridge this month, meaning Chelsea and Sarri must look elsewhere in their attempts to add further firepower to their frontline.
Sarri’s side initially started the season in fine form, scoring 27 goals in their opening 11 league matches as the Italian broke a Premier League record for the longest unbeaten start for a new manager.
But in their 10 matches since they have found the net on just 11 occasions, culminating in Wednesday’s frustrating 0-0 home draw with struggling Southampton.
Such a poor run in front of goal has seen them slip out of the title race, and with just two wins from their last four matches they are now at risk of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League by virtue of a top-four finish.
Alvaro Morata – who was tipped as a potential option in a swap deal for Higuain in some reports – has not scored in the league since the first week of October while Olivier Giroud’s only league goal in 2018-19 was a late consolation in Sarri’s first Blues defeat at the hands of Tottenham.