Chelsea striker Álvaro Morata asked to leave Chelsea in December, head coach Maurizio Sarri revealed recently, and about two weeks ago, alerted the club that there is a “possibility” in Spain for that request to become a reality.
That possibility turned into a loan move with an option to buy with Atlético Madrid, and while the deal looks all but done — although some reports are now saying that the initial loan will be for 18 months, not just 6 — Morata still has not officially moved.
It has not happened yet so it is not a reality. I will only talk about players who are at this club and if Morata does join us, then I will tell you what I think.”
-Diego Simeone; source: Marca via Football Espana
So what’s the hold up?
According to multiple reports, including from Goal, part of the problem is that Atlético haven’t been able to move all the pieces on their end in order to free up space on the wage bill, including the loan transfer of Gelson Martins to AS Monaco (who’s moving there partly because Chelsea didn’t want to loan them Michy Batshuayi, incidentally). The other part of the problem is that AS Monaco decided to sack head coach Thierry Henry yesterday and, reportedly, director of football Michael Emenalo as well — the former has been confirmed, the latter is just an expectation and rumor, for now — with the previous manager, Leonardo Jardim coming back to take over again.
Naturally, that upheaval has put transfer activities on hold for a bit, although the Gelson Martins deal is still expected to happen and apparently when it does, the Morata move can go through as well.
Just another day in the paradise of Silly Season then...