Football

Alvaro Morata.

Man United to target £87m-rated striker if Alvaro Morata doesn't join

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Manchester United have officially begun their pursuit of Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata after having a £52.4 million bid rejected on Tuesday night.

This is according to Sky Sports, who claim Zinedine Zidane wants closer to £78 million for any deal to go ahead.

Jose Mourinho is expected to make an improved offer for the Spain international having already missed out on two of his top targets.

While Antoine Griezmann has been confirmed as staying at Atletico Madrid, who are banned from signing anyone this summer, it's looking likely Romelu Lukaku will rejoin Chelsea.

As we know, Mourinho has a clever pyramid structure in place to ensure he signs at least one of the strikers he's interested in, but he's quickly running out of options.

There's a good chance United will be priced out of a move for Morata, who is highly rated in Madrid and has played an important role in their La Liga and Champions League double.

Nevertheless, Marcus Rashford welcomes the idea of United signing Morata - or any other striker for that matter - despite the added competition they would bring.

"At a big club you are going to attract big players and that's what we want," Rashford told reporters while on international duty with England.

Deportivo de La Coruna v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

"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."

Attacking options are exactly what United need in order to compete next season and according to Sky Italy, per Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol, they have another striker lined up.

Should Mourinho miss out on Morata, the next striker in his pyramid of targets is Torino's Andrea Belotti, who has a £87 million release clause (see below).

Belotti represents another exciting prospect for United, but problems remain should they decide to pursue his signature.

Torino's president, Urbano Cairo, has told Gazzetta dello Sport they plan on keeping Belotti and will only sell if his eye-watering release clause is met.

FC Torino v FC Crotone - Serie A

"I'm not thinking about selling Belotti," Cairo said, per the Independent. "Belotti is my player, we only renewed his contract recently. Our objective is to keep him.

"After that, there is a release clause that would make me obliged to sell him, providing someone came in with €100 million from abroad.

"Let's see. I haven't talked to him yet because he is currently with the national team. We will see how things go, but our intention would be to keep him."

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