Gonzalo Higuain has hit back at criticism he is a mercenary for deciding to cut short his loan spell at AC Milan and join Chelsea until the end of the season.
Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini — an outspoken Milan supporter — said in an interview with RTL radio on Monday: “I’m glad that Higuain has gone and I hope we’ll never see him again in Milan because he really behaved in an unworthy manner. I don’t like mercenaries in politics or football.”
Chelsea signed Higuain on loan with an option to extend or buy last week after he decided to push for an exit from Milan, where he had scored eight goals in 22 appearances across all competitions this season on loan from Juventus and endured public criticism from sporting director Leonardo.
Alongside a picture of him making his Chelsea debut against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup on Sunday, Higuain wrote on Instagram: “If they speak badly of you, you should feel proud because it means that your life is more important than theirs.
“When you don’t have a go at others, you focus on your things and you reach certain achievements, it appears that certain people are annoyed by that and in that eagerness to achieve what one is or has, far from getting to work and make an effort to succeed, they try hard to speak badly of the rest.”
Chelsea have reportedly agreed to pay €9 million to Juventus to loan Higuain for the remainder of the season, and the Italian giants revealed there is also an option to extend the agreement for a further year for €18m or make the deal permanent for a fee of €36m.
Higuain’s arrival paved the way for Alvaro Morata to end an unhappy and disappointing spell at Chelsea, with Atletico Madrid announcing the signing of the Spain international on an 18-month loan deal on Monday.
Information from ESPN FC’s Spain correspondent Adriana Garcia was used in this report.