Alvaro Morata agrees 18-month loan deal as he leaves Chelsea to join Atletico Madrid on long-term loan

The 26-year-old has agreed to join childhood club Atletico for the next 18 months after falling out of favour at Stamford Bridge

Jack de Menezes
Monday 28 January 2019 16:56
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Premier League transfer round-up: Higuain signs for Chelsea

Alvaro Morata has joined Atletico Madrid on an 18-month loan deal until the end of next season, with the Spanish club able to sign the Chelsea striker at any time during that period for nearly £50m.

Morata returns to Spain after a difficult time in England, with a record of 24 goals in 72 appearances seeing the former Real Madrid star scoring predominantly in the first half of last season after moving from Juventus to Chelsea via the Liga club.

The Spaniard competed with Olivier Giroud to lead the Chelsea attack this season, but after both fell out of form and out of favour with manager Maurizio Sarri, Eden Hazard was preferred in a false-nine role before Gonzlao Higuian was brought in last week on loan, which gave Morata the green light to leave the club.

Having started out at the Atletico academy, Morata went on to join Madrid before a successful two-year spell with Juventus, only for Madrid to trigger a buy-back clause in his contract before selling him on a year later to Chelsea for £60m.

However, Chelsea will recover a large chunk of that if Atletico make the move permanent, with a fee believed to be worth £48.5m included along with his wages for the next season-and-a-half.

Morata underwent a medical on Sunday before agreeing terms to return to La Liga and he told the Atletico website: "I'm very happy and proud to be here. I can't wait to start training, meet my new teammates and play."

Morata joins a heavyweight attack force under Diego Simeone with World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann and former Chelsea striker Diego Costa already on the books at Atletico, while Argentina international Angel Correa, Croatia’s Nikola Kallinic and Frenchman Thomas Lemar also attacking options at Simeone’s disposal.

Atletico currently sit in second place in the Liga table, five points behind Barcelona but the same number of points clear of Madrid, who are looking to recover from their poor start to the season that cost Julen Lopetegui his job as manager and left them trailing their city rivals in the league.

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