Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Gonzalo Higuain switch to Arsenal in doubt after Real Madrid claim the Gunners have not even made a bid for the striker

It was thought a move was on the verge of happening

Gonzalo Higuain's move to Arsenal has been thrown into doubt after Real Madrid president Florentino Perez claimed the Gunners were yet to make a bid for the striker.

Perez also claims Real Madrid do not want to sell the Argentina international.

It is the latest twist in a transfer that has been dragging for weeks. It was reported that Higuain was in London recently to discuss terms over a move to the Emirates and it was thought a deal was imminent, with the player's father and agent saying a move was at an "advanced stage".

However, during an interview with Univision, Perez insisted: "We don't want Higuain to leave. What's more no-one from Arsenal has come to us and made us any offers at all for him. There are no offers on the table."

Real were understood to be eager to add to their strike force before allowing Higuain to move on and have been heavily linked with a move for Luis Suarez. However, it emerged today that Arsenal have made a £30m bid for the Liverpool striker themselves.

Real have also been linked with a move for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale but Perez insisted a deal was not imminent.

"He is a great player who belongs to a club we enjoy good relations with, but we have not made any offer," he said

It has been reported Madrid will sign Spain Under-21 midfielder Asier Illaramendi from Real Sociedad in the coming days.

And although Perez did not confirm a move for the 23-year-old, he indicated Madrid were looking to sign a long-term replacement for Xabi Alonso, who will turn 32 in November and who suffered from a groin injury towards the end of the season which forced him to undergo surgery in June.

He admitted: "We are concerned about the state of Xabi Alonso. Defensive midfield is a very important position and we should be looking to strengthen there."

Uncertainty remains at Madrid over the long-term future of Cristiano Ronaldo, but Perez said he was calm about the situation.

"Ronaldo wants to retire at Real Madrid, and we want him to retire here, just like Zidane and so many other great players did. You can be absolutely certain that Cristiano will retire at Real Madrid."