Álvaro Morata joined Atlético Madrid in January with the understanding and expectation that he’d never play for Chelsea again. While the move officially was just an 18-month loan, for all intents and purposes, it was a permanent transfer.
But the laws of the game still require the transfer to actually take place, as a transfer. And so as we enter the summer transfer season, focus shifts to ironing out the financial details of that operation.
Morata, for his part, wants nothing else but to stay.
“It’s clear what I want, I want to be here, I’m going to do everything I can to continue playing here, I did everything in my power to come, and I’ll do everything in my power to stay. Nowhere [else but] here. I am happy here, and I want to be here all the years that I have left at the highest level.
“I do not even consider going to another club. I’m delighted and I think I can accomplish a lot of things here. I do not have anything else in mind, I would like to be at Atlético de Madrid all the years that I have left of my career, to be as important as possible in the future.”
So that’s pretty clear indeed.
The overall situation seems to be a bit less clear however, because why would anything ever be easy.
Atlético do have a buy-option set reportedly at around €50m, and given that Antoine Griezmann’s €120m buyout was just paid, they should have the funds required to exercise the Morata option. But rumors persist of Chelsea’s transfer ban potentially throwing a wrench into things, as the Blues also have a (limited) recall clause. While it seems unlikely that Chelsea would ever resort to that, it’s still being used as a bargaining chip.
Morata remains confident he can stay for good.
“Things are progressing well [and] if everything goes well they will arrive at a good solution. [But I’m] out [of these negotiations].”
-Alvaro Morata; source: Cadena SER
After recording 9 goals in 24 appearances (1500 minutes) for Chelsea in the first-half of the season, Morata has added 6 goals in 17 appearances (1200 minutes) for Atléti. That’s not amazing, but still better than Gonzalo Higuaín, who’s managed just 5 goals in 18 appearances (1300 minutes) as his supposed replacement who would make the team immediately better. (Meanwhile, Krzysztof Piatek, despite a recent scoring drought, has added 10 in 19, in less than 1500 minutes, for AC Milan as Higuaín’s replacement — oops!)
Chelsea are rightfully letting Higuaín go back to Juventus, and even if we re-up Giroud (12 in 44, in a little over 2000 minutes) via the one-year club option, there’s room in the squad for another striker. Michy Batshuayi doesn’t appear to be in that conversation and it’s tough to imagine Chelsea entrusting Tammy Abraham to the extent he possibly should be entrusted.
So perhaps there is more to these Morata recall rumors than rumor mongering? Nah...