Wednesday 13 December 2017

Alvaro Morata to remain at Real Madrid as Zinedine Zidane drops out of Paul Pogba hunt

Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata

Real Madrid have reportedly decided not to sell Alvaro Morata to Chelsea in the first real knock-back of Antonio Conte’s transfer plans this summer.

The 23-year-old re-joined the Spanish giants this summer after they took advantage of a £23m buy-back option in the Spain international’s contract at Juventus.

Morata was expected to be sold on for profit as Madrid pushed ahead with plans to sign Paul Pogba, also from Juventus, but their decision to hold onto the striker now clears open a path for Manchester United to sign the French midfielder.

According to the Daily Mail, Morata's agent Juanma Lopez has been informed that he will have to fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabéu behind Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Zinedine Zidane is busy planning his first full season with Madrid after replacing Rafael Benitez and then leading Los Blancos to the 11th Champions League triumph of their illustrious history.

A move for Chelsea winger Eden Hazard was also on the cards this summer but, after both he and Pogba failed to shine at the Euro 2016, it appears Zidane has opted to stick with Morata, who scored three goals for the deposed European champions.

Arsenal had toyed with the prospect of making a move for Morata but they, too, have been deterred by Madrid’s insistence that he will not be sold before the new season.

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