Tuesday 18 December 2018

Juventus interested in taking Chelsea's Alvaro Morata back to Turin this summer

Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata

Matt Law

Chelsea could face a battle to hang on to record signing Alvaro Morata this summer with Juventus reportedly interested in taking the striker back to Turin.

Morata is being lined up as a summer transfer target of Juventus, where he spent two seasons, according to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.

That would present Chelsea with a dilemma over the 25-year-old, who has made no secret of his fondness for Juventus and life in Italy amid concerns over how he has settled into English football.

Morata has cut a frustrated figure for much of his first season at Chelsea, having signed from Real Madrid for £57 million. Even when he has been scoring goals, the Spaniard has been upset by the physical approach of Premier League defenders.

Despite insisting he is happy at Chelsea, Morata’s downbeat demeanour around the training ground has sparked fears among his team-mates that he would prefer to return to Spain, where he played for Real Madrid, or Italy.

Morata faces a battle to secure his place at the World Cup, having been left out of Spain’s last squad for the high-profile friendlies against Germany and Argentina.

He scored against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, but could not find the net in Chelsea’s draw with West Ham United and has 14 goals in all competitions for the Blues.

Chelsea are confident that Morata will enjoy a better second season at the club and believe any difficulties he has experienced are normal for a player who is adapting to a new country and learning to be a first-choice starter for the first time in his career.

But a big bid from Juventus would leave the Blues with a tough decision to make should Morata make it clear that he would like to go back to Turin.

During two seasons at Juve, Morata scored 27 goals and, earlier this season, admitted he would never have left had Real not made him go back to Spain.

“The disappointment [of leaving Juventus] was enormous, I found myself back to the starting point,” said Morata. “They [Real Madrid] treated me like the guy I was before the two Italian seasons.

“Italy for a Spaniard is the best country to live. You have everything: beauty, history, art, cooking, fashion. I would never have left Italy and Juve.”

Juventus are planning a summer overhaul of their squad, with Mario Mandzukic expected to leave to free up space for a new forward.

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