Manchester United gave their clearest indication yet that a new striker will arrive in the summer when they released Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Friday.
The Red Devils have been heavily linked with Alvaro Morata, Andrea Belotti and Romelu Lukaku, although the Everton striker reportedly prefers a move back to Chelsea.
Regardless, a new striker will be arriving at Old Trafford in the coming weeks.
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United ended their interest in signing Antoine Griezmann when the Frenchman made clear his desire to stay at Atletico Madrid.
Griezmann scored 26 goals in all competitions for Atleti but he wasn’t considered by Mourinho to be the out-and-out striker he wanted.
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Which is completely fair, of course. The 26-year-old can play in the number nine role but he is very much considered to be a number 10.
With Griezmann now off the market, Real Madrid’s Morata has become United’s number one target.
Morata wants United - and vice versa
The Spaniard returned to the Bernabeu last summer following two years at Juventus but he only managed 14 starts in La Liga.
According to The Guardian, Morata’s agent, Juanma Lopez has informed Real Madrid’s general director, Jose Angel Sanchez, of his client’s desire to leave in search of first-team football.
And where better to reignite his career than under Mourinho, who handed Morata his senior debut in 2010.
Morata, 24, has been convinced by the United boss that Old Trafford is the perfect setting to kickstart his career.
But despite the player’s desire to play in the Premier League, it doesn’t sound as though Los Blancos are going to make this easy for Morata or the Reds.
How De Gea could complicate things
The Mirror are reporting that Madrid will demand more than £60 million for Morata because of United’s refusal to sell them goalkeeper David de Gea.
Yet the Europa League winners do not want to spend more than £60m on the Spain international.
United’s relationship with Madrid became strained when De Gea’s proposed move to the Bernabeu in 2015 broke down at the final hour. Both teams went on to blame each other for the failed transfer.
And the Red Devils are unwilling to sell the ‘keeper this summer, much to Madrid’s frustration.
So, in retaliation, the Champions League winners will ensure negotiations over Morata’s move are as difficult as possible.
UEFA Super Cup
Anyone else becoming increasingly desperate for the UEFA Super Cup between the two teams on August 8?
Is Morata worth £60m? Let us know in the comments section below!
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