Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has reportedly identified Real Madrid misfit Alvaro Morata as the ideal player to replace wantaway striker Diego Costa.

Spanish media outlet Don Balon have reported that Chelsea are targeting out-of-favour Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata if his Spain teammate Diego Costa forces a move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer transfer window.

A season that promised so much for Alvaro Morata has suddenly turned pear shaped for the young Spaniard. The 24-year-old started regularly in attack at the start of the season as Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo battled with fitness issues, but has since lost his place in the starting lineup.

The former Juventus man has managed to start just nine games all season for Real Madrid, and despite scoring nine goals so far at an impressive rate of 121.4 minutes per goal, he has been restricted to sporadic appearances in Zinedine Zidane’s side.

Alvaro Morata has struggled to hold down a regular place for himself in the Real Madrid first team. (Photo courtesy - Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Alvaro Morata has struggled to hold down a regular place for himself in the Real Madrid first team. (Photo courtesy – Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Morata has now grown frustrated at the lack of opportunities coming his way. And as Zidane continues to favour Benzema over the Spain international, Morata would prefer to move away from the Santiago Bernabeu instead of warming the benches.

Costa, on the other hand, has been one of the most important members in the Chelsea squad this season, scoring 14 goals in 19 appearances in the Premier League to be the joint top scorer of the English first division alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez.

The Don Balon report points out that Conte is an admirer of Morata’s talents, and the Spaniard is a well-known Chelsea target with the Blues having reportedly having a €75 million bid for the striker rejected by Real Madrid in the summer transfer window.

The Premier League leaders could well be on the lookout for a striker in the summer transfer window, after Costa’s alleged clash with Antonio Conte last week. He subsequently did not participate in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over champions Leicester City, and it has been reported that his Chelsea future in disarray.

Several reports earlier this week have stated that Real Madrid’s rivals Barcelona and Ateltico Madrid are set to go head-to-head in pursuit of the embattled Chelsea striker. There is confirmed interest from China as well, with Tianjin Quanjian owner claiming that his club lodged a bid for Costa.

Should any of the clubs prove to be successful in their chase for the in-form Costa, a place as the spearhead of the Chelsea attack could well be up for grabs.

With Michy Batshuayi failing to make a mark as a Chelsea player and with Morata looking to play regular first team football, he could well be interested to make a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

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