Jose Mourinho will reportedly opt to begin the season with Gonzalo Higuain leading the attack, instead of Karim Benzema.
The strikers, both 24, have been the subject of debate in recent seasons, with Mourinho preferring a 4-2-3-1 formation that has generally meant only one of them can play.
A lack of opportunities for Argentine Higuain last term saw him linked with a move away from the club this summer. However, he has stayed on, is set for a new contract and looks likely to begin the season as Mourinho’s preferred No 9.
This is believed by AS to be because the Portuguese tactician has been able to work with Higuain for the entirety of pre-season, whereas Benzema missed the first two weeks due to his involvement with France at Euro 2012.
Higuain is reportedly seen by the coaching staff to be better prepared both technically and physically. The first indication of whether or not the forward is the one Mourinho begins the season with will come this evening when Los Blancos welcome Valencia in La Liga.
Higuain, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, has scored 10 goals in previous meetings against Los Che.