AC Milan sporting director Leonardo has fired a warming to Gonzalo Higuain, saying the striker must get to work and improve at San Siro.
The 31-year-old has been targeted by Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, who wants to sign his former charge from Napoli in an effort to improve his club’s striker situation.
However, Goal understands that Chelsea will not be signing Higuain during the January transfer window, with a deal proving too complicated due to the Argentine being on loan at Milan from Juventus.
The Blues are not keen to negotiate with two different sides, and will look elsewhere for another option to compete with Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata.
Meanwhile, the normally prolific Higuain has struggled to replicate his best form during his half season in Milan.
The Argentina international has managed just eight goals in 20 appearances in all competitions, well off his best scoring rate during his time at Napoli and Juve.
Higuain’s current sporting director has challenged his striker to improve at Milan, with a move to Stamford Bridge looking increasingly unlikely.
“He has to make a decision and take on his share of the responsibility,” Leonardo said at a press conference on Tuesday. “Not this continual, ‘yes, no, I’m not sure.’
“He had a tough moment, he has to put it behind him and get to work.
“There’s no point following rumours and gossip. He is here right now. Seeing as he is here, he needs to get down and actually do something for this team.
“A goal can change things, but if he is to continue here, he needs to take on responsibility.”
After a two-week break, Milan will be back in action on Saturday against Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia last 16.