Chelsea have reached an agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of 24-year-old Alvaro Morata from Spain to London.
Morata, who is left with medicals and personal terms to complete the deal is the Pre,mier League’s fourth signing of the summer, after goalkeeper Willy Caballero, defender Antonio Rudiger and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Morata scored 20 goals last season after rejoining Real from Juventus.
He won La Liga and the Champions League with Real Madrid last season with most of his appearances as a substitute.
Morata could replace Spain team-mate Diego Costa, who says he has been told by manager Antonio Conte that he is no longer in Chelsea’s plans.
Manchester United had been interested in Morata prior to signing Everton striker Romelu Lukaku for an initial £75m. Curiously, Chelsea were also in the run to bring back their former player before the Belgian opted to re-unite with Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.
“I’m going to the team managed by the coach who has placed the most faith in me, and that’s great for me,” Morata told AS on Wednesday.
Morata joined Real Madrid’s youth team in 2008 and was handed his senior debut aged 18 in 2010.
The 6ft 3in striker moved to Italy in 2014, scoring 27 goals in two years for Juventus, winning both Serie A and the Coppa Italia twice and playing in the 2015 Champions League final.
Real exercised a buy-back option in June 2016 to take him back to the Bernabeu.
Morata has won 20 caps for Spain, scoring nine goals, since his international debut in 2014.
- Morata’s conversion rate last season was 27%, the highest of any striker to score 10 or more goals in La Liga in 2016-17; he scored 15 goals from 55 shots.
- His goals won Real Madrid 13 points in La Liga last season; only Cristiano Ronaldo won more for the side with 15.
The jury is already out on whether Morata will be able to seamlessly slot into the striking role at the Champions.
Some are of the view that the aggression and toughness of unwanted top scorer, Diego Costa are missing in the rather subtle Spaniard. Others, on the other hand contend that Morata’s conversion rate puts him among the best strikers out there.
As shown over the years, it is certain that the Spanish game will improve tremendously under Antonio Conte. The Italian is good at this – One only need to look at Nigeria’s Victor Moses.