Sunday January 20 2019
Gattuso: 'Higuain not ready for Milan'

Gennaro Gattuso insists Gonzalo Higuain’s transfer to Chelsea is not decided, but he is dropped for Milan’s trip to Genoa because “he is not mentally ready to do battle with us.”

It kicks off on Monday at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

The fact Higuain’s name did not appear in the squad list suggests a move to Stamford Bridge, via Juventus, is imminent.

“Nothing has been decided yet, so you’ll have to talk to (Milan director) Leonardo,” said the Coach in his Press conference this afternoon.

“I’ll be honest with you, I saw one of the worst training sessions since I have been here. All this talk is not good for him. I spoke to Higuain, it’s right we do this.

“I want to see people who are mentally ready to do battle and Higuain at this moment is not ready. I am not disappointed in him, I too have been a player. I did everything I could and he behaved the right way throughout.

“I accept his choice, just as I did with Leonardo Bonucci (wanting a return to Juventus) over the summer. The respect remains, perhaps he could’ve done more, while we could’ve given him better service. It is what it is.

“This team needs calm, focus and enthusiasm, elements we have been lacking recently.”

Wednesday’s Supercoppa defeat to Juventus in Jeddah did not help the situation in the Milan camp.

“I saw great spirit from the team when we went down to 10 men, as we did everything to find the equaliser. It’s what I wanted to see. Juve had something more in terms of determination, but we had a good performance.

“We’ve got to maintain that spirit against a Genoa side that has physical strength and can cause us a lot of problems. They press high and we’ve got to make sure we don’t just vanish the moment there’s a mistake.”

Genoa are without their hitman Krzysztof Piatek, who is expected to join Milan in a deal worth €35m plus bonuses, because he is suspended against his future teammates.

“Piatek has some very specific characteristics. If Higuain leaves, we are losing an important player. If it is official, then I can tell you what Piatek can bring to us.”

Suso has returned from suspension, but is still not 100 per cent fit.

“We’ll see tomorrow if he can play, he is continuing to struggle and feel some pain.”

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