That’s according to former Roma midfielder Stefano Impallomeni as the Juventus striker closes in on a move to AC Milan.
Higuain emerged as a target for Chelsea even before Maurizio Sarri was announced as Antonio Conte’s replacement at Stamford Bridge.
But Milan were alerted by Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus pushing the 30-year-old to the Allianz Arena fringes and have launched a loan swoop for him.
Higuain is on course to head to the San Siro alongside team-mate Mattia Caldara, who’s trading places with Leonardo Bonucci.
Impallomeni believes the Argentine would sooner head to Chelsea from Juventus if they were prepared to match Milan’s salary offer though.
“The problem for Higuain is not just to draw the salary that he currently receives: the player has raised, asking for €1.5m more and it seems to me that, for the same salary, he obviously prefers to play in Chelsea,” Impallomeni told RMC Sport.
“I think Sarri’s team is actually in the running to get him.
“I did not expect that the operations were so close to each other, I imagined that the Higuain negotiation was in itself separate to the Caldara-Bonucci exchange.”
Higuain is poised to see his wages boosted to £8.2m (€9.2m) a year thanks to the £1.3m (€1.5m) a year pay bump Milan are handing to him.
And he will spearhead their attack next season as he seeks to add to the 111 Serie A goals he has plundered since heading to Italy with Napoli in 2013.
Chelsea will now have to look elsewhere as they seek to add to their attacking options.
One player who could be leaving west London before the transfer window closes is Willian.
Sarri admitted last night he is in the dark about where the Brazilian winger’s future lies.
“Not at this moment, no, because I will see them on Saturday for the first time,” said Sarri.
“I don’t know the situation in this moment. There is no news.”
Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid have all been credited with interest in Willian.
Chelsea transfer news: What business have the Blues done this summer?
Players in: Jorginho (£57m, Napoli), Robert Green (free, Huddersfield).
Players out: Charlie Colkett (loan, Shrewsbury), Lewis Baker and Jamal Blackman (loan, Leeds), Nathan Baxter (loan, Yeovil), Trevoh Chalobah (loan, Ipswich), Reece James (loan, Wigan), Dujon Sterling (loan, Coventry), Jake Clarke-Salter (loan, Vitesse Arnhem), Jordan Houghton (free, MK Dons), Eduardo (loan, Vitesse Arnhem), Kenedy (loan, Newcastle), Todd Kane (loan, Hull), Mason Mount (loan, Derby), Jeremie Boga (£3m, Sassuolo), Jacob Maddox (loan, Cheltenham), Mario Pasalic (loan, Atalanta), Nathan (loan, Atletico-MG), Victorien Angban (loan, Metz), Mitchell Beeney, Isaac Christie-Davies, Cole DaSilva, Matej Delac, Renedi Masampu, Wallace, Tushaun-Tyreese Walters (all released).