Chelsea’s search for a new striker appears to be nearing a satisfactory conclusion, after they had an initial offer of £58million accepted for Alvaro Morata.
With Diego Costa deemed surplus to requirements and likely heading back to Atletico Madrid, the Blues have been in the market for a new frontman all summer. But they were left stunned earlier this month when top target Romelu Lukaku joined Manchester United from Everton in a £75million deal.
Although the champions have since been linked with a daring and unlikely move for Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, and have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it is understood that their second choice was always Real Madrid’s Morata.
Antonio Conte, who signed a new and improved two-year contract on Tuesday, worked with the 24-year-old when they were both at Juventus. And the Stamford Bridge boss will be pleased to discover that a reunion now looks a mere formality after his club had an offer accepted.
Chelsea will pay an initial £58million for Morata, a fee which could rise to £70million with add-ons. This is more than the £50million record fee they paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres in 2011, and significantly less than the base £78million United were quoted for the Spaniard before they turned to Lukaku.
Morata, who had also been strongly linked with a move to AC Milan, will now leaving Real’s pre-season tour of the United States to travel to London to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms, which is expected to see him sign a five-year contract worth £150,000-per-week.
Conte is also expected to sign another striker this summer, as with Costa expected to return to Spain, he only has Michu Batshuayi and Loic Remy as options and both are considered squad players. Dominic Solanke, the England Under-21 international, left for Liverpool earlier this summer.