Alvaro Morata linked with surprising loan move from Chelsea in January

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Alvaro Morata's time at Chelsea appears to be nearing its end - providing Maurizio Sarri can find a replacement in the January transfer window.

Five goals in 16 Premier League appearances isn't a bad return from the Spaniard, who has only started 11 times, but the simple fact is Chelsea need better.

Gonzalo Higuain has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, while the Blues are also said to be weighing up a £50m bid for Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani.

Both strikers fall into the world-class bracket, whereas Morata has failed to achieve that status since joining Chelsea for £57m in 2017.

He's even been displaced up front by Eden Hazard, with the Belgian recently spearheading a False 9 formation and scoring 10 league goals.

Sarri recently discussed Morata'a situation at Chelsea and said that even though the 26-year-old has potential, Hazard is better at linking up with the midfield.

"Alvaro's potential is to be a very good player," said Sarri. "We need to be balanced on the pitch and be more solid. In the last matches I prefer [playing Eden in a central role].

"For the future everything is open. I think that Alvaro is better in the box and better to attack spaces, but I have to say Eden is improving.

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"As you saw in the last match with the second goal (against Watford), he attacked very well the space. Eden is better when he comes to play with the midfielders and opens spaces."

Interest is high in Morata as Chelsea are only looking to send him on loan until the end of the season. Atletico Madrid and Sevilla have both made contact.

But now a new club has emerged as potential suitors for Morata and it's safe to say it would be a very surprising move - if not the most surprising of the transfer window.

According to Sport, Barcelona are keeping tabs on the Spanish striker after recently asking Chelsea about his future.

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Barca's interest hinges on Chelsea's conditions regarding a loan move and potential outgoings, with Denis Suarez and Munir both set to leave for Arsenal and Sevilla respectively.

No offer has yet been made, but if Barcelona are serious about taking Morata until the end of the season then it would be interesting to see what happens to Willian.

Chelsea rejected a player-plus-cash bid worth £50m from Barca on Thursday because they regard the Brazil winger as a key member of their squad.

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