Alvaro Morata leaves wife behind on Ibiza honeymoon to return to Madrid in effort to force Man Utd move
Alvaro Morata has taken a short break from his honeymoon to return to Madrid in an effort to speed up a prospective move to Manchester United.
The Real Madrid and Spain striker has spent the past week in Ibiza following his wedding to Italian model, Alice Campello, in Venice 11 days ago.
Morata, 24, had hoped a deal would be well down the road to completion by now, but with Real holding out for at least £75 million after rebuffing an offer of around £65 million from United, negotiations threaten to drag on.
That has prompted Morata to take the extraordinary step of briefly leaving his new wife to travel back to the Spanish capital in a bid to persuade Real not to create a protracted process and to grant him his wish of joining United before resuming his honeymoon.
Morata has spoken to Jose Mourinho and indicated his eagerness to move to Old Trafford, despite interest from Chelsea. Mourinho gave Morata his Real debut in December 2010 when he was manager at the Bernabeu and there is a strong mutual admiration between the pair.
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku had been Mourinho’s first choice to replace injured target man, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but with Chelsea leading the race for the Belgian and United put off by his £100 million valuation, Mourinho is confident Morata has the physicality and prowess to lead the line for United.
Mourinho and Morata want the deal done in time for the player to join his prospective new team-mates on the flight to Los Angeles for the start of the club’s pre-season tour of the US on July 9 but such a scenario will hinge on Real.
There is thought to be some consternation at Old Trafford that Real could deliberately play hardball over Morata as part of a strategy to entice goalkeeper David De Gea to Spain. Marca, the Spanish sports newspaper and Real mouthpiece, reported this month that the European champions had cooled their interest in De Gea but United are mindful that could just be a ploy.
United are in a strong position in the sense that De Gea still has two years left on his contract with the option of a third year and will not agitate for a move but Real, equally, know that the Manchester club are in desperate need of a new target man and that the options open to them beyond Morata are limited.
United have already missed out on Atletico Madrid and France striker, Antoine Griezmann, this summer and will not want to lose another leading target.
Meanwhile, it has been reported in Italy that Ivan Perisic could reject the offer of a new contract from Inter Milan in an attempt to push through a move to United.
Inter are so far refusing to budge from their demands for £48 million for the Croatia forward, which far exceeds United’s valuation of the 28-year-old. But the Italian club’s need to break even this year after limiting losses to €30 million last year in order to avoid falling foul of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations may come to benefit United’s cause.