The race to sign Alvaro Morata has taken a few twists and turns over the past 24 hours.
First, the worst-kept secret in football was revealed, when it was confirmed that Real Madrid would re-sign the striker from Juventus for around £25m.
Now, it appears that two Premier League clubs have ‘given up’ in their quest to sign him; Arsenal and Manchester United want no part of this circus.
That is according to the Daily Mirror, whose man, John Cross, reports that the ‘staggering £60m price tag’ put on the forward has ‘scared off Arsenal’. The poor things.
Cross claims that Arsenal’s reluctance to pay such a fee ‘could leave a straight fight between Manchester United and Chelsea’. A few paragraphs later, that fight appears to be over. While Jose Mourinho is an ‘admirer’, he ‘does not want to pay more than £50m’. So congratulations Chelsea. He certainly links up well with Cesc Fabregas.
REAL BALE DEAL
You know how Real Madrid sign everyone who has a good international tournament? James Rodriguez in 2014. Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira in 2010. Fabio Cannavaro in 2006. Dimitri Payet has been linked with the Spanish giants after impressing at Euro 2016, but it seems that the club will look to keep someone who has starred this summer.
According to the Daily Mail, Real will offer Gareth Bale a ‘contract for life’ when he returns from guiding Wales to wherever the heck they are going. In what appears to be a prediction of Bale’s imminent death by 2023, Ian Ladyman adds that ‘the length of his new contract could be as long as seven years’.
Bale is ‘very happy in Spain’, and a new contract will aim to make him ‘one of the highest-paid players in the world’, Ladyman adds. Does this finally spell the end to those infuriating rumours of interest from Manchester United? Almost certainly not.
Speaking of United, they have made a bid for Henrikh Mkhitaryan. They are ‘edging closer’ to signing the Dortmund midfielder.
Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Mirror tells us that United ‘have upped the ante’ by bidding £28m for the Armenian, who “wants to join them by any means”, according to the poor man’s Jorge Mendes, Mino Raiola.
‘There is increasing confidence a deal for Mkhitaryan will be agreed, according to sources close to the negotiations,’ Kajumba writes. The club made an opening offer of £19m, and have jumped up tby £9m after it was quickly knocked back. But it looks like it could be done soon.
AND THE REST
Chelsea star Diego Costa is in constant contact with former club Atletico Madrid and will stop at nothing for a reunion with Diego Simeone…Raul Meireles is in England to begin talks over a possible move to Bournemouth, according to reports in Turkey…Chelsea have made their move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly with a £19.2m bid…Borussia Monchengladbach have revealed they are ready to make Chelsea loanee Andreas Christensen their club-record signing…Manchester United and Inter Milan are interested in signing Argentina and Zenit St Petersburg central defender Ezequiel Garay, 29…Manchester City want to seal a deal for Schalke wonderkid Leroy Sane by Wednesday – but Bayern Munich are holding up the deal…Chelsea star Cesar Azpilicueta has denied any contact with new Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho…Promoted Premier League side Hull City are set to make AFC Wimbledon’s 18-year-old goalkeeper Will Mannion their first signing of the summer…Premier League champions Leicester City are set to complete the signing of 23-year-old midfielder Nampalys Mendy from Nice for £13m.