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Arsenal to battle Chelsea over signing of £57m-rated hitman
According to the Evening Standard, Alvaro Morata remains Arsenal’s number one target but we’ll face stiff competition from Chelsea while Real Madrid will also need to lower their £57m asking price.
Arsene Wenger is in the market for another striker after missing out on Jamie Vardy and a number of big-money forwards have been linked with a move to the Emirates in recent weeks.
However, the Standard claim that Morata is the managers prime target as Wenger is a huge fan of the 23-year-old’s having tracked his career since he was part of Real Madrid’s youth set-up.
The Spanish international left the La Liga giants in 2014 after failing to establish himself at the Bernabeu but Madrid have now activated a £23m buyback option after watching him develop in to one of the most sought after strikers in Europe over the past two years.
It’s not yet clear what the future holds for Morata at Madrid and talks are due between his agent and the clubs officials this week but the feeling is that with Karim Benzema still first choice, the striker is expected to be sold again this summer at a profit.
It looks like Arsenal are hoping to lure Morata to England but the Standard say we aren’t prepared to do business at the £57m price Madrid are demanding while we could also face competition from Chelsea if the Champions League winners lower their asking price.
Antonio Conte knows Morata well as he was the man who took him to Juventus and the newspaper says the Italian tactician will look to take the Spaniard to Stamford Bridge if Diego Costa rejoins Atletico Madrid this summer.
That appears unlikely at this stage so Arsenal could be in pole position to get a deal done for Morata but there is still the problem of Madrid’s asking price so Wenger is keeping his options open.
The Standard suggest that we’ve already held talks with Alexandre Lacazette’s agent and we could turn to the Lyon striker if the Morata deal fails, while Romelu Lukaku is also understood to be of interest but only if Everton lower their £60m valuation.
So it looks like Arsene has three potential targets in mind with Morata his first choice ahead of Lacazette and Lukaku, and it’s going to be interesting to see who we end up with.
Some Arsenal fans think it will be just like last year and after all the dust has settled, we’ll still be stuck with just Olivier Giroud come the end of the summer. However, I think Wenger is determined to sign a top class striker this year and I think we’ll get someone this time around.
Of the three names listed, my preferred options would be 1. Morata 2. Lukaku 3. Lacazette but let’s be honest, any of the three would be good signings. None are the finished article but there is a real lack of strikers on the market. Higuain could be available but only for £70m+ which isn’t realistic.
So we have to look at closer to the £40m-£45m bracket which leaves us with the likes of Morata/Lukaku/Lacazette and I’d be pleased with any of them this summer.