London: New boss Maurizio Sarri ready to sacrifice striker duo if it means a reunion with his former Napoli frontman Olivier Giroud looks like being the first casualty of new Chelsea chief Maurizio Sarri’s reign. Sarri is keen to stamp his mark on the Stamford Bridge squad following the departure of Antonio Conte, and his raid on Juventus for Gonzalo Higuain spells bad news for Giroud. Sarri is offering Alvaro Morata as bait in the deal for £240,000-a-week striker Higuain, and the Italians are interested in selling following their spectacular capture of Ronaldo.
They are looking to recoup a big chunk of the £80m they paid for the Spaniard two years ago. Argentina international Higuain’s arrival at Stamford Bridge would spell trouble for Giroud, who could win the World Cup with France on Sunday but soon find himself looking for a new club. After moving to Stamford Bridge in a shock January switch from London rivals Arsenal, Giroud was seen as a solid alternative to the disappointing Morata. But Sarri’s move for 30-year-old Higuain, who scored 36 goals in 35 league games under him at Napoli in 2015-16, puts the Frenchman further down the pecking order. Giroud has 12 months left on his contract and other clubs are aware of his availability.
Morata, signed for £58m last summer from Real Madrid, wants out of Chelsea after just a year having failed to adapt to English football. He has also attracted interest from Italy’s AC Milan. Sarri, who has beaten Manchester City to the £57m signing of midfielder Jorginho from previous employers Napoli, has promised to entertain the Chelsea fans following his confirmation as the new boss.