Juventus may be 33-time Italian champions, and working on a 7th consecutive one right now, but they’re still working with budgets smaller than top Premier League teams and still looking
for bargains to lowball teams for players. It’s probably a smart way to do business, but it also leads to silly rumors such as yesterday’s report in Tuttosport regarding Álvaro Morata.
It’s a new rumor but it has the same shaky provenance as the mid-April rumor of the Old Lady’s interest in their former player. This time rather than just vague interest, Juventus have come up with a creative solution to re-acquire their former striker.
The way the story goes, the deal would be a loan-to-buy (oh, Italy...). Juve would put up a laughable €15 million for the first year, followed by €40 or €45 million. That adds up to a maximum of €60m, which is still less that the €65m (£58m) that Chelsea paid Real Madrid up front just last summer (a figure which doesn’t include add-ons — although it’s hard to imagine that Morata met any performance clauses this season).
Morata has history with the Bianconeri, making 93 appearances between 2014 and 2016, netting 27 times, 7 of those in the Champions League. He was never the main man, but he was effective and the Italians may be in need of goals, with Mario Mandzukic pondering his future and second-striker Paulo Dybala similarly unsettled.
Alvaro’s one of a number of players who’ve had challenging first seasons at Chelsea, their combined struggles figuring prominently in the club’s decline after winning the title last season. Unlike Bakayoko, Barkley, Drinkwater and even Emerson, he actually had an initial burst of success with nine goals before Christmas, before unsuccessfully trying to play through a back injury. His form has only come back haltingly, not helped by the difficulty he’d had adjusting to a more physical style of play, nor Giroud’s emergence as a valid backup option.
Nevertheless, it would be foolish to give up on him after just one season. It’s perfectly normal for even the best players to go through a period of adjustment. There’s a distinct possibility that Morata, who may not be in Spain’s World Cup squad, will hit the ground running in pre-season training and becomes the force Chelsea thought they were buying.
Giving up on that for a paltry €15m up front, and never making making back his purchase price, makes no sense to anyone. Except Juventus, of course. And they don’t count.