Real Madrid could be about to blow Arsenal's chances of signing Alvaro Morata out of the water, according to The Mirror.
The Juventus striker is believed to be closing in on a return to the Bernabeu just two years after he left, as Real Madrid have declared their intention to activate a €30million buy-back clause.
Originally, it was their aim to immediately sell on the 23-year-old for a significant profit and reports would have us believe that Arsenal were ready to pay €50m.
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However, according to this new report, there is every chance that Zinedine Zidane could choose to keep Morata in the Spanish capital and talks are planned to iron out his potential future at the club.
It puts a potentially massive barrier between Arsene Wenger and his first-choice striker target when he already has to deal with the fact that Morata will have to come to the Emirates via Real Madrid.
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Host of Problems
Of course, Morata is still a Juventus player and the Serie A champions are doing everything they can to keep him in Turin. They are believed to be ready to pay Real Madrid a fair amount to cancel the buy-back clause.
Even if Morata does become available to Arsenal, they will then have to compete with Chelsea and Manchester United for his signature. While the Gunners are the only club who can offer Champions League football, both United and Chelsea could offer much bigger wages.
Florentino Perez will be the main man behind the final decision on Morata and that is a worry for Arsenal. He has been busy attempting to bring the best young talent to Real Madrid and will see Morata as a potential homegrown star.
In his effort to compete with Barcelona's La Masia, Perez may be willing to move mountains to get a promising young Spaniard into the set-up, even if that includes selling an established star like Karim Benzema.
Morata of bust
While Wenger is apparently keen on signing a striker this summer, he has not been credited with an interest in any other attacker than Morata. Having finally sealed a £30m deal for Granit Xhaka, the Frenchman can focus solely on recruiting some competition for Olivier Giroud.
Romelu Lukaku is believed to be available from Everton but the £65m price tag will be well out of Arsenal's reach. They will also be priced out of a move for Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with the asking price set even higher at £70m.
Alternatively, Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain could be available for the right price while Lyon's Alaxandre Lacazette has been linked with a move to the Premier League. Both will cost in excess of £30m.