For a striker with just 38 goals across 145 games for Real Madrid and Juventus, Alvaro Morata sure is a striker in demand. Valuations of the Spaniard have reached up to £50million, and a number of clubs have been linked. On Tuesday, he stoked such rumours by claiming that the Premier League would be “a great destination” for him.
John Cross of the Daily Mirror takes such a quote and furthers the claims over his future. He reports that Morata’s comments have ‘sparked an auction between Arsenal and Chelsea’ for his services.
Cross adds that Morata is Arsene Wenger’s ‘No 1 transfer target’, with the club looking to sign a true elite centre forward in order to build a title challenge. Replacing Olivier Giroud, with 82 goals in 188 games for Arsenal, with a forward who has scored just a goal just under every four games over the past four seasons, seems a tad ingenuous.
As for the link to Chelsea, it makes some sort of sense. The club are in desperate need of additions in the striking department, with only Diego Costa likely to remain beyond the summer.
Elsewhere in the world of European strikers being linked to the Premier League, Tottenham want Alexandre Lacazette.
Unlike Morata, Lacazette’s goal record is rather impressive. The Lyon striker has scored 76 goals in 137 games across the past three seasons in France, and has attracted interest from afar. It is Cross of the Mirror again who has first reported Tottenham’s temptation.
Cross says that Tottenham have opened talks with ‘representatives’ of the 25-year-old, and must beat competition from West Ham and Paris Saint-Germain to sign him.
The stumbling block could be the price. Tottenham will offer £24m, but Lyon want £30m. It is a small price to pay if it means Harry Kane can rest those weary legs a little more.
And elsewhere in the world of strikers being linked to Tottenham, Troy Deeney is a ‘shock’ target over at White Hart Lane.
According to Paul Jiggins of The Sun, Watford striker Deeney is on the club’s ‘final wish-list’ of summer transfer targets.
Jiggins admits that Deeney is not the club’s main transfer target, with that man apparently being Michy Batshuayi of Marseille, but that his work-rate has impressed Mauricio Pochettino. The 27-year-old captain would actually make a logical choice for Tottenham, as he would surely be willing to play second fiddle to Kane if Champions League football was on offer.
AND THE REST
Tottenham want Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan after he called off contract renewal talks…Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel will be offered the chance to stay in the Premier League by Middlesbrough…Middlesbrough may not be able to keep loan star Gaston Ramirez, who looks set to be heading back to Uruguay to join Penarol…Timothy Fosu-Mensah is the third Manchester United youngster to be handed a new contract…Southampton have talked to the agent of Sporting Lisbon defender Ruben Semedo over a potential £12million move…Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has warned Brighton they will have to pay £2.5million for striker Glenn Murray…Everton are the first Premier League club to show an interest in Monchi after it emerged the highly-regarded sporting director of Sevilla could leave the La Liga club…Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is set to lose his No.2 Fabio Pecchia, who is wanted by Verona…Garry Monk will be offered the chance to become Leeds United manager after the Championship club confirmed the departure of Steve Evans…Roberto Di Matteo is the new Aston Villa manager and expects to be in place within 48 hours.