According to widespread reports, Alvaro Morata is now the player at the top of Jose Mourinho’s summer wish-list after Antoine Griezmann opted to stay with Atletico Madrid.
Manchester United had hoped to activate Griezmann’s £85 million release clause, but the French forward will stay with Atletico for at least one more season after the Spanish club’s transfer ban was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
United, per the Mirror, have already had an opening offer for Morata turned down by Real Madrid.
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The Red Devils offered £52 million but it’s understood Madrid want a fee closer to £78 million for the 24-year-old, who scored 20 goals in 43 appearances for Los Blancos in his first season back at the Bernabeu following two seasons with Juventus.
Whether United will agree to Madrid’s demands is unclear but convincing the player might not be straightforward, even though Karim Benzema is expected to remain ahead of the Spaniard in the pecking order next season.
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Morata: I would be crazy to leave Real Madrid
“I want to be playing and to be important to the squad, particularly next year when there is the World Cup,” Morata, per the Daily Mail, told reporters after scoring a late equaliser for Spain in their 2-2 friendly draw against Colombia on Wednesday night. “But I want to fight for my place here, I would be crazy to leave Real Madrid.”
Morata's latest Instagram activity excites United fans
However, his latest comments haven’t stopped the speculation linking him with a move to Old Trafford.
And his latest activity on Instagram has further excited United supporters.
Because Morata has recently followed several United stars on the photo sharing app, including Wayne Rooney, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba.
United fans react on Twitter
Here’s how United fans have reacted on Twitter…
Is this really a sign that Morata is expecting to join United this summer? Who knows.
However, the Spaniard has made it clear that his preference would be to become Madrid’s first-choice centre-forward.
Why Morata might eventually be tempted by United move
That both Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane are huge fans of Benzema makes that particular objective rather difficult to achieve.
And with Zlatan Ibrahimovic set to leave United this summer, Morata might eventually be tempted by the opportunity to become the Red Devils’ new star striker.
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