Zinedine Zidane reportedly wants Alvaro Morata to stay at Real Madrid, despite widespread rumours linking him with a summer exit from the club.
Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Zinedine Zidane is keen to retain the services of Alvaro Morata beyond the summer. The Real Madrid manager has asked the Spaniard to stay put at the Santiago Bernabeu even as reports link him with a summer exit.
Morata has endured a torrid return to Real Madrid, who exercised their buy-back option in the player’s contract with Juventus last summer to bring him back to the Bernabeu. However, as was the case in his first spell with Los Blancos, the Spain striker has continued to play second fiddle to Karim Benzema.
In fact, Morata has only been afforded 1,871 minutes of playing time across 42 appearances in all competitions this season. Despite a severe lack of minutes though, the player has still managed to be the second-best goalscorer at Real Madrid with 20 goals – only Cristiano Ronaldo with 40 has scored more.
Zidane promised Morata that he’ll get more opportunities next season and there’s no better place to triumph than at ‘home’. [as] pic.twitter.com/zDrDjRyiGX
— SB (@Realmadridplace) May 25, 2017
In contrast, Benzema has netted 19 goals, having played nearly 1,300 minutes more than Morata. The aforementioned figures suggest that, perhaps, Morata is being hard done by and it is believed the player is ready to end his frustrations by leaving Real Madrid in the summer.
If reports are anything to go by, he is unlikely to have a dearth of suitors vying for his signature, with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan all being heavily linked with him.
At Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez’s future is under intense scrutiny with speculation being rife that the Chilean is set to leave the North London club for pastures anew. With Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck proving to be inconsistent, Arsene Wenger is believed to be searching for a top quality striker in Morata to add to his squad in the summer.
Newly-crowned Premier League champions Chelsea have Diego Costa’s future mired in uncertainty, with reports linking him with a big-money move to China. Should the Spain striker leave the West London club, his compatriot may well be replacing him in the summer.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are in desperate need to sign a striker in the summer, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic sustaining a long-term knee injury that is likely to keep him sidelined for the remainder of the year. With just Marcus Rashford as his recognised option up front, Jose Mourinho is keen to recruit another quality striker in Morata for his squad.
However, AC Milan have recently stormed ahead to lead the race to sign Morata, having tabled a €60 million offer for him. With a major squad overhaul in the offing in the summer, the Spaniard would make for a top quality addition at San Siro – a major upgrade on the likes of Carlos Bacca and Gianluca Lapadula.
But, as per the report, Zinedine Zidane has made it clear that he wants Morata to stay at Real Madrid and is trying to convince the player that he will get more minutes of action next season.
However, with just a season to go before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it is unlikely to see how Morata will agree to any role but that of a regular starter ahead of Benzema in Zidane’s squad. If the Real Madrid boss fails to offer him that, we could well see the player leaving the club in the summer.