Manchester United and Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Alvaro Morata after the Real Madrid forward's agent claimed he is on the verge of signing for Juventus.
The Daily Star reports how the 21-year-old Spaniard has attracted admiring glances from a host of different clubs, after intimating a desire to quit the Santiago Bernabeu in search of more regular first-team football.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was heavily linked with a loan move for Morata during the January transfer window, but opted instead to bring Swedish midfield veteran Kim Kallstrom to the Emirates Stadium for the second half of the 2013/14 campaign.
New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is also believed to have cast his eye over the Real Madrid man ahead of his arrival at Old Trafford next season, but looks set to miss out on the €20 million rated star.
Juventus close to transfer
According to Spanish newspaper AS, Juventus have agreed to meet the Spanish giants' valuation of Morata, but are still negotiating the buy-back clause that Carlo Ancelotti wants inserted in any deal taking the player to Turin.
Morata will pen a four-year contract with the Serie 'A' champions - earning around €2.2 million per year - and will hope that the Italian transfer will improve his chances of representing his country, having been left out of Vicente del Bosque's 23-man Spain squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil this summer.
Speaking to reporters outside the Bernabeu on Monday, Morata's agent Juanma Lopez confirmed: "Alvaro Morata is getting closer to Juventus."
The news will mean Arsenal must turn attention to alternative forward targets with Wenger still on the lookout for striker reinforcements to ease the goalscoring burden on Olivier Giroud in north London next season.
Van Gaal needn't worry...
Manchester United, meanwhile, are blessed with great strength and depth in that area of their squad, and so Morata's prospective transfer to Juventus will not be quite as disappointing as Van Gaal's focus is more on strengthening in defence.
Morata has attracted additional interest from a host of other clubs around Europe, with Wolfsburg, Inter Milan and Porto all monitoring his situation closely in recent weeks.
However, he's plumped for a switch to La Vecchia Signora where he'll have the opportunity to continue his development under the tutelage of Antonio Conte.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms