Alvaro Morata will turn down the chance to join Arsenal or Paris Saint-Germain if he returns to Real Madrid due to his desire to play for either Manchester United or Chelsea because of the new managers in charge in the Premier League, according to reports in Spain.
Morata is expected to move back to Real this summer when the club exercise a buy-back clause in his contract, which will be available for activation from 1 July. With Morata currently on international duty with Spain at Euro 2016, talk of his future is on hold, but his destination in the summer transfer window will become one of the most talked about subjects of the summer once Real make their move.
The Champions League winners are expected to trigger the €30m [£23.6m] release clause in order to bring Morata back to the Santiago Bernabeu two years after he left, but Karim Benzema’s continued presence at the club looks set to see Morata sold immediately at a substantial profit.
According to Spanish newspaper AS, Morata would prefer to stay at Real if he is guaranteed first-team football, but he understands that unless Benzema is sold, that is unlikely to happen.
That will lead to the La Liga club looking to sell Benzema, with Arsenal, United, Chelsea and PSG all interested in the Spain striker. Arsenal had appeared to be leading the race to sign the 23-year-old, but is £50m valuation by Real appears to have scared Arsenal off a forward who scored just seven goals in Serie A last season and eight the year before.
Their move for Jamie Vardy confirmed that their interest now lies elsewhere, although the England international appears to be edging closer to rejecting the Gunners in order to sign a new contract to remain at Leicester City.
Morata is also said to be less keen on a move to the Emirates, and would instead favour a move to United or Chelsea due to the presence of Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte. Mourinho handed Morata his Real debut back in December 2010, while Conte negotiated the move to bring Morata to Juventus before he was named the Italy national team manager.
Morata holds Mourinho in high esteem for giving him his chance to prove himself by not selling him after he made his debut, and it’s claimed that the pair have already spoken personally to discuss a move to Old Trafford.
The striker will not come cheaply, with his enormous price tag added to by the €6m-a-year [£4.7m] salary he can demand, given a second clause in his contract requires Real to pay him those wages as part of the buy-back agreement.
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