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Chelsea enter race for £40m Juventus striker once signed by Antonio Conte - report

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

According to Sky Italia journalist Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea have entered the race to acquire Spanish international striker Álvaro Morata.

The 23-year-old has been with Serie A serial champions Juventus since the summer of 2014, arriving from Real Madrid for €20 million, but with the Spanish club having an option to buy him back for €30 million. Morata was one of incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte's transfer targets when the Italian was at helm in Turin, but Conte resigned from the team (to eventually take charge of the national team) four days before Morata's arrival.

An earlier report from Romano in the Guardian indicates that Real plan to activate the clause to then sell Morata to the highest bidder among the clubs interested. Along with Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly keen on Morata, with the latter already in talks with his agent. Morata's going rate is supposedly around £40 million.

This season, Morata made 46 appearances across all competitions for Juventus, starting 26.  Playing mostly as a centre forward alongside Argentinian starlet Paulo Dybala, Morata scored 11 goals and made 9 assists.

Morata is certainly a talented striker, though not one to lead the line as a pure #9 lone forward such as his national team colleague Diego Costa. Morata's acquisition could mean a departure for Costa, or a shift away from the one-striker formations of the past decade, since we surely wouldn't shell out £40 million and above on a mere back-up for a position we already have well covered.

Or would we? It could be something; it could be nothing. In Silly Season, you can never be too sure.

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