Chelsea appear to be wasting no time as they look to identify alternatives to Romelu Lukaku after missing out on the forward. It was no secret that the Belgian target man was The Blues’ no.1 transfer target this summer and it must be a bitter blow for Conte to lose out to title rivals, Man Utd, after supposedly leading the race for his signature all summer. Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has quickly been identified as the new man Conte wants to lead Chelsea’s attack next season and negotiations are due to take place.
Morata has previous with Conte as the Italian signed the Spaniard during his tenure at Juventus, although their collaboration was cut short when Conte took the Italy job soon after. Morata has not forgotten the faith that Conte initially put in him back in 2014. Speaking to The Guardian in April Morata said: “I feel indebted to him because he’s the coach that most trusted in me, most wanted me, who made me feel I could perform at the highest level. And yet I’ve never had the fortune to actually work with him. I’m sure sooner or later I will.” Indeed Conte also tried to sign Morata for Chelsea last season but Real Madrid wouldn’t sanction a move after reacquiring him from Juventus. That stance looks as though it has softened with Morata keen for guaranteed starts after another stalled yet productive season at the Bernabeu in which he scored 20 goals from only 19 starts. Madrid do rate their forward highly and it would still require a club record fee for Chelsea to acquire the man with 20 caps for Spain. A fee upwards of £70m has been mooted with Madrid believed to want around the €90m mark.
With Diego Costa having been told he is no longer a part of the Manager’s plans Chelsea need to move fast to secure a high quality target man in an ever diminishing pool of available talent. Little more time can afford to be squandered.