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Spanish striker set to be one of Manchester United’s first summer signings?

Manchester United are reportedly close to securing Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid this summer. United placed a bid of £52 million for the Spanish striker earlier this week, which was rejected with the La Liga and UEFA Champions League holders demanding a much larger fee for the player who made more appearances from the bench last season than he actually started. United were also said to be upping their bid to £60 million, which would be the maximum they would offer for the 24-year-old who will be seeking a starting role at a new club next season. Madrid’s pursuance of United goalkeeper David De Gea could have been something the club demanded from any possible deal, but Madrid stopped their pursuance for the Spaniard earlier this week also.

Reports have surfaced this evening suggesting that United were making ground on Morata with a fee of €73 million, just over £64 million with the Spaniard close to securing a five-year contract with the Old Trafford club. These initial reports surfaced from Onda Cero presented Héctor Fernández on Twitter. The Sun have followed with a report suggesting that Morata’s deal would be a four-year contract, which makes me wonder whether it will be four years with an additional year to be added, which has been the case for United over the last few years when signing new players or existing player to new contracts. The Mirror have also reported that talk of this deal being close is premature, which is to be expected. Reports from Spain have not been the most reliable in recent years.

United need to find a decent striker to take the helm after Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered his season-ending injury and was subsequently released by the Old Trafford club, despite the offer of him using the clubs facilities to reach full fitness after his knee operation at the end of the season. The Swedish veteran wants to remain in England and upon reaching full fitness, United could resign him, as he would be a free agent, but there are no plans for that to happen right now. Morata scored 20 goals for Real Madrid last season, helping his side win the La Liga, for the first time in five years and the UEFA Champions League, the third time in four years the club have lifted the Elite European title.

The fee for Morata will no doubt be a big one, with fee reaching high figures over the past few years, Paul Pogba’s £89 million transfer from Juventus last summer still being a world record, which could be broken this summer is speculation becomes true. Morata and Pogba played together for Juventus and their understanding on the pitch would be good for United, who are looking to create and score more goals, which has been a problem over the last few season’s, including the last despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring 28 goals in all competitions for the Old Trafford club. United still have their eye on Andrea Belotti, who is also listed as a target this summer, but his £87 million release clause, which is for foreign clubs, remains a hurdle in any prospective deal being reached.

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