Chelsea handed £40m lifeline over Liverpool striker target - reports

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Chelsea are reportedly being urged to make a bid for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, despite Liverpool being linked with a move for the player.

Spanish publication Sport claims Los Blancos president Florentino Perez is willing to let the player join the Blues, if owner Roman Abramovich can match their £40 million valuation of the player.

The generated funds will be used to fund a mega-move for Wayne Rooney, it's claimed, although Chelsea would be more interested in the possibility of adding a proven goalscorer to their own ranks.

Higuain, a 22-cap international for Argentina, has recently come to the fore at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Jose Mourinho playing the 23-year-old alongside Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo in an attacking front three.

However, the former Chelsea boss is thought to be willing to allow the former River Plate starlet to leave La Liga for the right price, with the Blues sounded out as a club who could meet the asking price.

Chelsea spent £50 million on Fernando Torres last January, but the Spaniard has failed to spark at Stamford Bridge.

With the futures of Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka uncertain in west London, Andre Villas-Boas is thought to be keen on freshening up his front-line, and will need the backing of the Chelsea owner to make Higuain a reality for the club.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have recently emerged as surprise contenders for the forward.

Kenny Dalglish has shown he's willing to spend big on Merseyside, bringing Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez to Liverpool last January for close to £60 million, as well as Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam this summer for a combined fee in excess of £20 million.

Higuain would represent another mark-up at £40 million, and Liverpool owners FSG would need to be willing to make a sizable investment to beat off competition for the signature and bring the player to Anfield.

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