Just who is: Tottenham bargaining tool Alvaro Morata
Real Madrid’s fledgling striker had his toes dipped into first team action by Jose Mourinho last season, but has really made a name for himself as one of Europe’s brightest talents with Spain’s U-21s this summer.
As the figure which Tottenham will accept from Madrid to procure Bale’s services ventures past astronomical, bargaining maestro Daniel Levy has also moved to include Morata’s signature as part of a potential deal.
In truth, this is a very shrewd move from Levy, as he will be getting some player in the making, if he pulls this off.
At just 20-years-old Morata is a product of Real’s academy system which saw him lift two youth cups for the C team, scoring 34 goals.
He was quickly promoted to Madrid’s reserves where the young striker continued to flourish before catching the eye of new coach Mourinho just six months into his B team career. He was subsequently afforded a few minutes as a first team substitute in 2010.
Despite an injury to Gonzalo Higuain the same season however, Mourinho resisted the urge to thrust him into the limelight, so the teenager remained on the first-team peripheries.
Nevertheless, Morata continued to excel in the reserve league where his tally in three seasons for Real Madrid B or Castilla, now stands at a mightily impressive 44 goals from 83 games.
It was only natural his first senior goal would arrive before long and it came in November last year, one of two first team strikes in 14 appearances to date, mainly off the bench.
Such a precocious talent has not escaped the attentions of Spain’s national coaches either.
Morata has notched at every youth level, scooping the top scorer award at the European U19 tournament in 2011, where his six goals helped propel his country to glory.
Now most recently, the striker has caught the attention of the continent once more at national level, bagging four more Euro goals in helping the U21s to defend their own crown.
Tottenham’s current 11/5 price for the top four is sure to shoot out if Bale departs, though with Roberto Soldado and this future star to come in, Spurs fans can sleep a little easier.