With Zlatan Ibrahimovic set for a long spell on the sidelines after suffering a cruciate ligament injury last weekend, Manchester United have now stepped up plans, which had already been underway due to Zlatan’s age and contract situation, to find a replacement. According to reports from the Spanish media, one of the names at the top of their list is Chelsea transfer target Álvaro Morata.
The first report is from Cadena SER’s El Larguero, who first broke the “news” that Morata was looking to leave Real Madrid in the summer, just one year after returning from Juventus. Having scored 17 goals across all competitions in just 1,593 minutes, the 24-year-old supposedly wants more consistent playing time.
The report claims that former Chelsea (and Real Madrid) boss José Mourinho has already made calls to inquire about Morata, to make a public show of United’s interest. While Mourinho was the one who gave Morata his debut with Real Madrid back in the 2010-11 season, the striker has recently called Antonio Conte the manager who “most bet on him”.
Following El Larguero's trails, there is a matching report from Real Madrid mouthpiece Marca.
Whether the interest is real or not, it does not bode well for Conte who’s rumored to be pushing for the chance to work with Morata. Rumors such as these will only serve to inflate the striker’s already astronomical price tag. Conte was facing an uphill battle before to convince the Board to sign his first-choice instead of Emenalo’s; now it may be a mountain to high to scale.
That said, this is just one factor in a saga that’s sure to drag on well into the summer.