Gonzalo Higuain greets fans ahead of AC Milan move with transfer 'just about' done

Gonzalo Higuain confirmed he hopes to sign for AC Milan on Thursday, after arriving in the Italian city on Wednesday night.

Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta had earlier said the transfer was "just about" done after meeting with Milan representatives on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the deal.

Several dozen fans waited as Higuain arrived at a Milan hotel, and the Argentine striker laid out his plans to reporters.

"It's great to see so many fans, but I also want to send greetings to those of Juventus who have given me so much affection," Higuain said. "Tomorrow, I'll do the [medical] and then I hope to sign... We hope to go as far as possible."

Multiple reports in Italy claimed Milan would pay €18 million to land Higuain on an initial one-year loan with a clause to make the move permanent for a further €36m (€54m in total).

The deal is also reportedly set to include a straight swap of centre-backs, with Mattia Caldara heading to the Rossoneri and Leonardo Bonucci returning to Juve just a year after leaving them for Milan.

The agreement between the two clubs is expected to cover all three transfers in one overall operation.

Earlier, Bonucci's agent Alessandro Luci had left a meeting with Marotta and Juve's sporting director Fabio Paratici saying "we just need to wait."

Higuain, 30, trained in Turin for the third day running on Wednesday, but left the Continassa training centre in the evening in a car which, according to Mediaset, was taking him to Milan, where he was due to spend the night ahead of a medical on Thursday morning.

Higuain set a new Serie A single-season record of 36 goals for Napoli in the 2015-16 season before joining the Bianconeri in a €90 million deal.

He scored 55 goals in 105 games for Juve but was deemed surplus to requirements following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.

Higuain had a subdued World Cup where he started one game, appeared as a substitute in two more and failed to score a goal. He was left on the bench for the second-round match against France as Argentina lost 4-3 and were knocked out.

Caldara was with Juventus on their U.S. tour ahead of Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game and Saturday's clash with Real Madrid, but Sky Sports showed him departing the team's hotel.

The 24-year-old joined Juventus from Atalanta in January 2017, though he remained on loan with his former club until this June and only made his Bianconeri debut last month in the International Champions Cup friendlies against Bayern Munich and Benfica.

Bonucci, 31, was also in the U.S. with Milan, though he did not play in Tuesday's night's game against Minneapolis. Mediaset said he would land in Turin on Thursday morning.

Before joining AC Milan for €40m in a shock move last year, Bonucci spent seven seasons at Juventus, helping them win six successive Serie A titles.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.