Chelsea Signs Higuain On Loan; AC Milan Replaces Him With Piatek

Higuain is reunited with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, while Piatek continues his rapid ascent in Italy by joining Milan from Genoa.
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The transfer carousel is spinning across England and Italy.

Gonzalo Higuain has officially joined Chelsea on loan for the rest of the season, with his initial loan to AC Milan being concluded before Juventus sent him to London through the summer. Chelsea reportedly has a €36 million ($41 million) option to purchase Higuain permanently at the end of the campaign. Higuain excelled under current Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri when both were at Napoli, and the Blues will hope he can rediscover that form and provide the answer needed as the club's new No. 9.

"Gonzalo was our No. 1 target in this transfer window and arrives with a proven record at the highest level," club director Marina Granovskaia said in a team statement. "He has previously worked with Maurizio to great effect and is familiar with how the coach likes to play. This was not an easy deal for us to do because of the numerous parties involved, but we are delighted we were able to make it happen and we look forward to seeing the impact Gonzalo will make for us in the second half of the season."

Higuain endured an inconsistent half of a season with AC Milan, where he went on loan to make way for Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival at Juventus. He scored six league goals and added another two in the Europa League, failing to find the same scoring form that he enjoyed in the previous two seasons at Juventus and the three before that at Napoli.

WILSON: Higuain Can Help Chelsea, But He's No Cure-All

AC Milan, meanwhile, wasted no time in finding Higuain's replacement, landing Genoa's Polish star Krzysztof Piatek in a permanent deal worth €35 million ($40 million). The 23-year-old Piatek currently has the second-most goals in Serie A with 13, trailing Juventus's Ronaldo, Sampdoria's Fabio Quagliarella and Atalanta's Daniel Zapata by one, and he's joined Milan on a deal through June 2023.

Piatek took Serie A by storm upon his arrival from the Polish top flight, and he parlayed it into a lucrative move half a season in. His form resulted in a first look with the Polish senior national team this fall, and he responded with his first career international goal in a UEFA Nations League loss to Portugal. Piatek follows the signing of Lucas Paqueta earlier in the winter transfer window, with Milan looking to return to the elite level in Europe. The Rossoneri currently sit in fourth in Serie A, one point clear of Roma and two ahead of Lazio.