Manchester United close to completing Alvaro Morata deal – reports

Manchester United are close to completing the transfer of Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata according to the Manchester Evening News who suggest sources close to the player have suggested the news. The report stated that United were not the only team in for the striker, as we know AC Milan had an interest in the player and Chelsea were linked with him too. It was the player’s relationship with United manager Jose Mourinho which seems to have swung things into the Old Trafford club’s favour. Mourinho handed Morata his first team debut whilst he was managing the Madrid side who currently hold the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League trophy. Morata was made the number one target this summer after the season-ending injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has now been released by the club.

The Manchester Evening News report that United made their move for Morata in May but it was suggested that was the early days of the deal with nothing coming close to actually happening. The Madrid side then went on to retain the UEFA Champions League, becoming the first team to do so since the competition was rebranded at the start of the 1992/93 season. Morata has won the Champions League trophy twice with the club (one medal from lifting the trophy in 2014), adding a La Liga winner’s medal to his haul after he returned to the club from Juventus last summer. United did not actually make a solid move for the player until last week, after the 4-1 demolition of the player’s former club, Juventus in Cardiff nearly a fortnight ago. Morata will have a clear run to become United first-choice striker next season, improving his chances to be picked for Spain for next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Morata made just 19 starts last season, after returning from Juventus and signing a five-year contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring 20 goals, making more substitute appearances throughout the season than he actually started matches. Only Marcus Rashford will stand in Morata’s way at United with Anthony Martial predominantly played on the left-wing, a position which he could rotate with Ivan Perisic if United manage to get a deal across the line for the Croatian. Morata’s transfer which will be upwards of £60 million, the amount United are reportedly wanting to pay with the Madrid club demanding more than £70 million. Morata could become the most expensive Spanish striker since Fernando Torres made his £50 million switch from Liverpool to Chelsea back in January 2011, a move which turned into a massive waste of money for the London club.

Many will be excited to see the arrival of Morata, should these reports be true as he will become a top player given the chance to show what he can do. Whilst Rashford may feel impeded by the Spaniard, it will only help him define his career all the more with the bar being raised and the teenager having to put in more work to achieve what he wants to achieve, which will be a winner for both the player and the club. Rashford, who learned under Zlatan Ibrahimovic last season, will have another mentor, a different kind of striker which could offer him another perspective in his bid to become the English version to Lionel Messi, an all out striker. Playing on the wing may have hampered Rashford last season, but if Mourinho ends up changing his formation, where both Rashford and Morata play together, with the right players creating behind them, the partnership could be devastating for United opposition.

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