Gattuso leaves door open for Higuain move to Chelsea

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The manager has side he will do what he can to hold onto the forward, but that he could be "difficult to convince"

It is up to Gonzalo Higuain to choose his Milan future amid reported interest from Chelsea, according to manager Gennaro Gattuso.

The Argentina international joined Milan on loan from Juventus over the summer and has scored eight goals in all competitions this season.

Though Milan have the option to buy at the end of the season, Higuain has reportedly been the subject of interest from Chelsea, who are managed by his old boss at Napoli, Maurizio Sarri.

Any deal between Chelsea and Higuain would be made more complicated by fact he is on loan, but that does not make it an impossibility.

Gattuso has previously voiced his desire for the 31-year-old Higuain to remain with the club, but admitted it may well fall on the striker to make the final call on his decision.

Speaking after Milan’s 2-0 Coppa Italia victory over Sampdoria in which Higuain went 111 minutes but didn’t score, Gattuso praised the striker yet conceded his uncertainty over what the future holds.

“[Higuain] was active today,” Gattuso told Milan TV. “He didn't score but he did everything right.

“We have a very honest relationship, we say things to people’s faces. There is great honesty.

"When a player makes certain choices, it becomes difficult to convince him otherwise. One can try.

“At this moment, he is a Milan player and we’re holding on tight.

"I don’t know what will happen. We are honest with each other and I want him to maintain this attitude, which has never been lacking thus far.”

The Milan boss also claimed that he would do what he could to try and hold onto the striker during his post-match press conference. 

“I haven’t figured out what Higuain is unhappy with, because I see him look content and involved in the locker room atmosphere.

'We’ll see what happens. If it was up to me, I’d keep him at my house and feed him my dinner.”

Milan’s victory was their second straight after a five-game winless run across all competitions.

Patrick Cutrone scored both goals in extra time as they got past the hosts, leaving Gattuso pleased at the result.

“The players did very well today,” Gattuso said. “We knew Sampdoria were a great team so we knew it wasn't going to be easy.

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“[Cutrone] did great for sure. Cutrone and Conti gave us a lot of quality. I liked our defensive game today, we played hard.”

New Milan signing Lucas Paqueta also made his debut, making the start and going 85 minutes, in a performance that left Gattuso anxious to see more.

“I liked [Paqueta’s] game, especially in the second half,” Gattuso added. “He moves very well on the pitch, he is your typical Brazilian! I am happy for him.”

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