Higuain faces tough battle over Chelsea future with Juventus not wanting him back

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The Argentine's form since his arrival at Stamford Bridge in January could lead to the striker missing out on a permanent move to the Premier League

Gonzalo Higuain is under pressure to perform better to secure his long-term future after at Chelsea after Juventus indicated they do not want the striker back, Goal understands.

The 31-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window after Chelsea took over the loan from AC Milan, who replaced the under-performing Higuain with Krzysztof Piatek and the Pole has netted eight goals in 10 games since his arrival from Genoa.

Higuain, meanwhile, has scored just three times in 10 appearances for Chelsea and he could be left in limbo in the summer as he tries to earn a £31.3 million permanent move to the Premier League club.

The 31-year-old’s long-term future depends entirely on form, and Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has been open about that fact, saying his contribution to goals and appearances will be taken into account.

"Today he had an opportunity, too few for him I think," Sarri told Goal of Higuain after Chelsea's defeat to Everton.

"He can do more. He had problems at the beginning of the week so today it was normal he could only play for 65 minutes. He has to improve physically and mentally."

His only three goals have been against Huddersfield Town and Fulham, which has seen him dropped from the Argentina squad where competition for a striker spot is particularly fierce.

Sarri had targeted Higuain since last summer and only eventually got him in after Alvaro Morata left on loan for Atletico Madrid in January, but the Blues manager’s future being in doubt would be a further factor against the Stamford Bridge club signing their No.9 permanently.

Chelsea signalled they would be willing to find a workaround for their limit of only offering one-year deals for over-30 players, as they did when they signed Olivier Giroud in January 2018, but that is dependent on performances from Higuain.

Juventus are adamant that he will not return to play in Turin, so they will be looking for another buyer, should Chelsea fail to activate their option.

The Serie A champions have received significant sums in loan fees from both Milan and Chelsea, but may be under pressure to renegotiate their option ahead of a summer transfer window in which the Blues are hopeful they will be able to participate in.

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Chelsea currently have a one-year transfer ban in place from FIFA for the signing of Under-18 players, but they have appealed. This is blocking permanent deals for their on-loan players, including Mateo Kovacic, but it is still expected to be overturned in the short term.

FIFA is still locked in talks with Chelsea, who described the decision not to at least delay the ban during their appeal as 'astonishing' due to the ruling going against precedents set when dealing with three Spanish clubs.

The CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) has yet to be contacted but represents the next option for the club to affect the process.

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