The Gunners are confident that Real Madrid will accept their fresh club-record bid for the Argentine striker, with an agreement possible within the next 24 hoursBy Wayne Veysey
Arsenal have made an improved offer of £23.1 million for Gonzalo Higuain, Goal can reveal.
The Gunners are confident their new bid will be enough to secure the Real Madrid striker, with sources saying the fee could be agreed by the two clubs 'within the next 24 hours'.
Arsenal had been reluctant to pay more than £21m for the Argentinian, but manager Arsene Wenger sanctioned a fresh bid closer towards Real's £25.5m valuation of the player.
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Goal reported 13 days ago that an Arsenal delegation had flown out to Madrid to finalise the Higuain signing with their Madrid counterparts.
Those talks did not result in an agreement but the dialogue has continued in the intervening period and, despite Wenger considering an alternative proven striker, a breakthrough is now close to being reached.
Higuain's personal terms have already been agreed in principle, with a £100,000-a-week contract on the table. This will bring the forward in line with Arsenal's top earners Theo Walcott and skipper Thomas Vermaelen, providing a bumper rise on his relatively modest £64,000-a-week deal at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Juventus also made the prolific forward an offer but are unwilling to pay a £20m-plus fee after pairing Carlos Tevez with fellow new signing Fernando Llorente.
Wenger has prioritised the signing of a top forward this summer and retains a concrete interest in Wayne Rooney, who is keen to sever his ties with Manchester United, as well as a third big-name striker.
The Higuain deal would become Arsenal's first £20m-plus transfer fee and comfortably smash the club's record outlay for a player.
Arsenal began their summer recruitment drive on Monday after completing the signing of Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer from Auxerre.
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