Atletico Madrid have signaled their intent by joining the race to sign Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, according to reports from Spain.
Morata has been looking for a move away from Juventus, as he wants more game time under his belt. The Spaniard has lost his place as a regular in Juventus boss Max Allegri’s starting XI, after the signing of Paulo Dybala from Palermo last summer.
However, Morata has constantly showcased his class with the Bianconeri, scoring key goals in important matches. The 23-year-old has netted just 12 times in 47 appearances for Juventus this season, winning the league and cup doubles with the club for the second year running. He had even helped Juventus reach the final of the Champions League in the 2014/15 campaign.
Morata’s perfromances have drawn the attention of a number of top clubs from across Europe, with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United all reportedly chasing his signature. The Premier League clubs, who are set to gain a lot of financial muscle with the new lucrative broadcast deal, are reportedly looking to splurge on the Spanish striker.
Arsenal, who have reportedly triggered a £22 million release clause for Leicester City frontman Jamie Vardy, might be out of the running if they get their man. However, another new entrant has joined the race to land Morata’s signature — Atletico Madrid [via Marca].
The main issue with Atletico’s pursuit of Morata is that the Spaniard’s current contract with Juventus already has a buy-back clause that will allow Real Madrid to sign him for around £23 million. Morata, who came to Juventus from Real Madrid, has himself said that a move back to the Santiago Bernabeu would be difficult to turn down.
“Of course returning to Real Madrid is what I’d like best. This is my desire, to win with Real Madrid,” Morata had said earlier.
The Los Blancos have a considerable advantage over the other clubs if they want to sign Morata, as Juventus are unlikely to accept bids of £23 million from the other clubs. In fact, some reports also suggest that Real Madrid want to buy him back for £23 million and sell him for a higher price in order to make a profit.
Morata to return to his roots?
Although Morata has displayed mixed interest in the Premier League, the La Liga, and the Serie A over the last few months, it will be interesting to see whether he chooses to go back to the city where he once played his football. What will be even more interesting to see, is whether Morata chooses to go Real Madrid or their cross-town rivals Atletico.
The 23-year-old has a history with both the clubs, as he had started out his youth career at Atletico before moving to Getafe, and then finally to Real Madrid where he finally turned pro, playing three seasons in the Castilla (B) team. Morata might get the lucrative deals at clubs like Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Chelsea, but one thing he is guaranteed to get at Atletico is plenty of game time.
Fernando Torres, who was a regular part of the Atletico front two, along with Juventus is set to be without a contract in July. Atletico will be looking for a replacement for Torres, and Morata could turn out to be the perfect frontman, as Simeone looks to continue challenging the Real Madrid-Barcelona duopoly in Spain.