As soon as Antoine Griezmann decided he couldn’t leave Atletico Madrid in the lurch after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the Spanish club’s transfer ban last week, Manchester United pretended they were no longer interested in signing a No. 10 anyway.
They now wanted a No. 9 instead. Convenient, that.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic likely to leave Old Trafford this summer, Jose Mourinho is acutely aware of the need to bring in a top-class goalscorer to replace the prolific Swedish forward.
Romelu Lukaku, Kylian Mbappe and Andrea Belotti have all been linked with the Red Devils over recent weeks.
And so too has Alvaro Morata, Real Madrid’s Spanish centre-forward.
Morata has had a good season - but could still leave Madrid
Morata returned to Madrid from Juventus last summer after the €30 million buy-back clause in his contract was activated.
In 43 appearances this season, the 24-year-old has scored 20 goals. That statistic is made all the more impressive by the fact most of his appearances have come from the substitutes’ bench.
Both Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane have a soft spot for Karim Benzema, who scored 19 goals in 48 matches this term, and speculation is rife that Morata would prefer to leave the Bernabeu rather than play the role of back-up to the French forward for another season.
AC Milan are keen to bring Morata to the San Siro but the opportunity to lead the line for United, working under his former boss Mourinho, may prove more tempting for the Spain international.
How would Morata's arrival affect Rashford?
But where would Morata’s arrival leave Marcus Rashford?
United fans saw the best of the talented 19-year-old following Zlatan’s injury and there’s a danger his progress could be hindered by the arrival of Morata.
Rashford reacts to the reports
And the man himself has now reacted to the news that United are apparently pursuing Morata’s signature.
How does he feel about it?
"At a big club you are going to attract big players and that's what we want," Rashford told Sky Sports News HQ. "Anyone who can come in and help the club win trophies, which is the ultimate aim, they are the players we want to bring in. Good competition is important if you want to be successful."
What a brilliant attitude.
He’s not concerned about Morata’s potential arrival. In fact, he acknowledges that the increase in competition for places will only improve the team’s chances of winning silverware.
Rashford has learned from Rooney and Zlatan
Rashford also understands that playing and training alongside top strikers will help improve his own game.
"The way they (Ibrahimovic and [Wayne] Rooney) think, their mentality towards the game, they are the biggest things that I can take from their game," Rashford added.
"I think with those type of players, whether they are here for the next five years or however long they are here for, you never stop learning from them."
You sense that even if Morata does join the Red Devils this summer, the impressive Rashford will still find a way to shine next season.
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