Alvaro Morata has started his Chelsea career on fire.
The Spaniard has scored three goals in four Premier League matches since the Blues paid a club-record £60 million to Real Madrid for the 24-year-old.
But it could have been so different for Morata.
He was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United and it seemed he was on the brink of joining the Red Devils.
However, that deal fell through when Jose Mourinho agreed a £75 million move for Romelu Lukaku. It was unknown quite what that meant for Morata’s move but that became clearer within days.
That’s because Chelsea soon registered their interest and Morata made his move to Stamford Bridge.
But instead of being disappointed that a move to United collapsed, the striker was delighted that he had been reunited with Conte - who he worked under at Juventus.
Why Morata joined Chelsea
"Yes. I had various offers this summer, not only Chelsea and Manchester United but also from different leagues," Morata told the Daily Mail.
"It was a good situation for me. The most important and best conversation I had was with Conte, he wanted me to come here. At the start of the summer, I didn’t know that Chelsea were interested in me. I thought they were in for a different player.
"Maybe Lukaku or maybe someone else, I don’t know. I didn’t think the option of Chelsea was open.
"But I spoke with Conte several times – and not only this summer. I felt in debt to him. He signed me for Juventus but left very quickly to manage Italy. I always wanted to play for him after that. It was only two months with him but it felt like I’d known him forever. When I knew he wanted me this summer, I didn’t think twice. I did everything I could to make the move happen."
Morata was close to Chelsea last summer
And Morata even revealed that his move to Chelsea almost happened 12 months ago - and even predicted they would win the league.
"Last summer it was close. Cesar Azpilicueta was a bit annoyed because he had already started house-hunting for me last summer. We’d even got estate agents on board. This time Cesar has sorted everything!" he admitted.
"When I spoke to Conte last summer, I said “If I’m going to leave Real Madrid, it will only be for Chelsea”. I remember I was with my wife after hearing him out conversation and I said “Chelsea are going to win the league this season.” And that’s exactly what happened. Now we need to repeat it!"
Whether United made the correct decision to sign Lukaku instead of Morata remains to be seen. Either way, Chelsea are delighted with the start Morata has made to life in west London.
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