MANCHESTER City last night paved the way for Arsenal to clinch the club-record signing of Gonzalo Higuain by agreeing to offload striker Carlos Tevez to Juventus for a knock-down £7.5m.
Tevez, 29, is entering the final year of his contract and, though the fee could rise to £12.5m depending on clauses, City’s willingness to sell is thought to stem from the financial burden of the player’s earnings.
A deal for the Argentina international, who joined City from bitter rivals Manchester United in 2009, is dependent on personal terms but the Italian champions are hopeful of luring Tevez to Serie A.
Juventus have made signing a leading centre-forward their summer transfer priority, and a deal for Tevez is expected to see them drop their interest in signing his countryman Higuain from Real Madrid.
That would leave Arsenal in pole position to land the 25-year-old, who has indicated his desire to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, and could also allow them to drive a harder bargain over a price.
Real want more than £20m for Higuain, who has scored 120 goals in 244 appearances since joining from River Plate in January 2007.
Real’s appointment of former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti as Jose Mourinho’s successor today could also speed up a Gunners deal for Higuain.