Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde called Alvaro Morata “a great player” as the Chelsea player continues to be linked with a January exit.

If the reports by The Sun are to be believed, Barcelona are keen to rope in Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata in order to revamp their attack after the departure of Munir El Haddadi to Sevilla FC this month. Morata is keen to explore other options, preferably outside England as the striker was hardly on the pitch and did not make the lineup for most of the games.

His debut season in Chelsea has been a bitter one after falling out with the Blues boss, Maurizio Sarri. The 26-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer for £65 million from Real Madrid. He scored 5 goals from 16 appearances this season in Premier League.

He was dropped out of the squad’s latest outing against Newcastle United due to ‘tactical reasons’. Prior to the match he was plagued by a hamstring injury and missed a few days of training. The Spaniard feels that he is disrespected by the club and is seriously considering other options, including an unlikely move to Atletico Madrid by taking a steep pay cut.

A promising option for the youngster is a move to Barcelona in January. The Catalan giants are in shortage of a striker after selling off Munir El Haddadi for barely £1 million. Valverde was all praise about the player.

A move on the horizon? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

A move on the horizon? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

He said,”I can only say the same thing. That he’s a great player, that he’s at another team and that we respect that a lot.”

Sarri would be keen to offload Morata and would be interested to reunite with his former Napoli star Gonzalo Higuain who is now in AC Milan. The Spaniard was earlier in talks of a swap deal with the Argentine earlier this month.

However, Sarri in a conference ahead of the clash with Newcastle said,”If Morata goes to another club we need a replacement.”

This sheds some light to the fact that Sarri is quite unclear on what should he do with Morata.

Barcelona currently need a strong striker, with Luis Suarez aging and a strong possibility of the departure of Denis Suarez to Arsenal. Morata might be the perfect fit for the Catalan giants and his sale might earn some much needed cash for Chelsea to pursue their transfer targets.

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