Morata’s future looks uncertain with Juventus ready to pounce
Spanish striker Alvaro Morata only joined Chelsea a year ago but the number nine could be ready for a dramatic exit.
The 25-year-old was highly sought-after before moving to Stamford Bridge and would still have suitors a year on.
The former Real Madrid man was signed by Antonio Conte for a club record £60 million in July 2017 but reports suggest he is set for a return to Juventus.
Morata’s notched 11 goals in 31 appearances for the Blues this campaign and could still prove to be the hero in this weekend’s FA Cup final.
He’d started the season like the man they’d been waiting for notching six goals in as many games. However, two barren spells in particular over the season coincided with the arrival of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud.
Morata finally has a real challenger to his first-team spot. Giroud has managed three goals since his January arrival putting the pressure on his new team-mate.
Having a seasoned Premier League goal-getter beside him will either make or break his Chelsea career.
There’s been some talk about the future of Gonzalo Higuain at Juventus – not to mention the manager Max Allegri so this could open the door for Morata’s return.
If the Spaniard did return then this could spell bad news for Mario Mandzukic. The rangy Croatian is a pivotal man in Allegri’s side but often gets carted out right to accommodate Higuain.
Morata returning to the side could mean Mandzukic departs the club as he looks for a more central role. The former Bayern Munich man scored a wonder goal in last year’s Champions League final but hasn’t always been a certain starter.
Morata’s first stint with The OId Lady between 2014 and 2016 is when he began to establish himself on the European stage. He notched 27 goals for I Bianconeri including in the 2015 Champions League Final against Barcelona.
He would be a natural fit for the club having spent two productive seasons as first choice striker. His form saw Real Madrid exercise their buy-back clause and his stock has risen since.
The transfer looks like it’s waiting for one domino to fall to accelerate things. If Chelsea decide to replace Antonio Conte following the cup final then it could present the second chance Morata needs either at Stamford Bridge or elsewhere.