• There is an option to extend the loan for another season for £15.7million or buy him outright for £31.6m.
• Giroud, 32, has been restricted mostly to Europa League football since Higuain was signed.
Chelsea are not planning to extend Gonzalo Higuain’s loan and will send him back to Juventus after the Europa League final. Higuain has scored only five goals in 21 appearances since arriving in January on a six-month deal.
There is an option to extend the loan for another season for £15.7million or buy him outright for £31.6m. Juventus do not want Higuain back because he has two years to run on a lucrative contract, but his goal return has been poor in the Premier League and his form disappointing.
At 31, he is not expected to improve dramatically and Chelsea do not expect to take up either option despite the prospect of a FIFA transfer ban. Maurizio Sarri, having worked successfully with Higuain at Napoli, identified him as a centre forward who could make his new team click.
Chelsea devoted great time and effort to disentangle him from his existing loan deal at AC Milan in January. But Higuain has not impressed—missing chances and struggling to perform at the tempo required in English football. Olivier Giroud is expected to stay, with Chelsea set to trigger a one-year option on a contract which expires this year.
Giroud, 32, has been restricted mostly to Europa League football since Higuain was signed and has made no secret of the fact he would like to play more.
Chelsea will also try to make Mateo Kovacic’s move from Real Madrid permanent.
Croatia midfielder Kovacic has spent the season on loan and has been converted by Sarri into an alternative to Jorginho in the deep playmaker’s role. He could be part of the conversation as Real try to strike a deal to sign Eden Hazard, who has only one year left on his contract. N’Golo Kante is winning his race to be fit for the Europa League final against Arsenal in a fortnight. Kante missed the last two Chelsea games with a hamstring injury. He has not travelled with the squad to the United States — staying in London to work on his fitness.