Where next for Higuaín?

80,000 fans made their feelings known, as did the coach and president of Real Madrid. The message to Gonzalo Higuaín was clear: “Real Madrid is your home, please don’t go.”

Unfortunately, things just aren’t quite as simple as that for the Argentine striker, who racked up 26 goals along with 10 assists this season. This was an exceptional return, given that he’s been a substitute on 17 occasions out of the 35 league games he’s featured in and 7 out of the 12 in the Champions League. There’s more to Gonzalo than just being a sensational substitute though.

‘El Pipita’ is a world class footballer and understandably doesn’t want to play second figure to anyone. Despite having contributed as much as Karim Benzema to the Madrid , he has found himself as second choice in attack. He’s had 6 years at the club with various degrees of success – there have been periods of settling in, consolidation, development and end product. He’s been a divisive figure amongst fans, but every time criticism has been thrown his way he’s responded in the same manner. With desire and goals... lots of goals.

Higuain is a Swiss army knife in the team; vital for a range of situations. He can provide the grit, unselfishness and industry that Mourinho’s teams thrive upon, but also the flair, intelligence and technique that makes this Real side a different animal entirely.

It’s plain to see why Mourinho would not want to lose him. There is no other Higuaín. There are those who offer similar skills, but his discipline and attitude separate him from most. If he indicates to his agent that it’s time to flee the capital then there will be no shortage of suitors.

In the midst of celebration, Higuaín’s speech to the Bernabéu masses last week was interpreted as his goodbye. A run-in with the press at Madrid’s airport saw him dance around the subject once more. His entourage, too, seems to be forcing Higuaín out of the Madrid door.

The question, then, is where exactly the 24-year-old will turn up. There are few genuine options given his current situation and earnings.

Firstly, there is the option of Paris Saint-Germain. Backed by Qatari owners, the Parisian club made a splash in the market last summer with the signing of Javier Pastore, a fellow Argentine. Carlo Ancelotti and the owners looked on as Montpellier stunned the football world and took the French Ligue 1 title last week, so PSG will want to respond in a suitable manner. Higuaín only reservation might be the level of football in France, which could be seen as a step down in quality and prestige. He’s 3.25 to turn up in Paris.

Italian giants Juventus could be a genuine option. They are back amongst the Champions League big-boys after an incredible unbeaten helped them to the Serie A title. The football in Italy is attractive and the sporting project at Juventus is one with an eye firmly on the future. Of course, the money is there too, as Juventus look to keep a hold on their renewed status. You can back Higuaín to head to Turin at 3.50.

Finally, there is Manchester City. The Premier League champions will be hoping to make their mark in the Champions League, and have the money to compete for Higuaín. With the possibility of one of their strikers departing, a move for Higuaín is feasible. He’s at 7.00 to go to City.

Despite all this, the shortest odds remain on him staying in Madrid. He’s at 1.20 to continue with the Spanish giants.