Chelsea ‘explore’ Morata return amid Aubameyang frustration despite Barcelona ‘needing to sell’ striker

Will Ford
Morata Chelsea

Chelsea are reportedly ‘exploring’ a move for former striker Alvaro Morata as frustration builds in their bid to land top target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Barcelona and Chelsea have held talks over a move for Aubameyang but have so far failed to come to an agreement over a fee as the Catalan side hold out for over €25m (£21m).

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Sport claim the Blues have proposed a player-plus-cash offer with Marcos Alonso moving in the other direction, but the bid – thought to be worth around £15m – still failed to meet Barcelona’s demands.

Thomas Tuchel is keen on reuiniting with the Gabon international, who scored a whopping 79 goals in 95 games under the German boss in their time together at Borussia Dortmund.

Asked about a potential deal for the striker, Tuchel said earlier this month: “I enjoyed working with him a lot, it was a pleasure. I’ve never had any issue.

“Some players stay your players, as you are very close. Auba is one of them players. Even when we played Arsenal, straight away it was a close bond”.

Aubameyang – who only moved to Barcelona from Arsenal in January – has fallen down the pecking order at the Nou Camp following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski and was an unused substitute as the Spanish side recorded their first win of the new season, beating Real Sociedad 4-1 on Sunday.

But despite Barcelona needing to sell the striker in order to be able to register Jules Kounde with La Liga and pursue any other signings this summer, manager Xavi would like to keep the 33-year-old at the club.

Aubameyang is thought to be open to a return to the Premier League and the chance to work under Tuchel once again.

But Chelsea can’t afford to bank on Aubameyang’s arrival as Tuchel is desperate for more firepower from his forwards, who have failed to score a goal between them in their first three games of the season.

And remarkably, according to Sport, they are considering a move for former striker Morata, who did not enjoy his spell at Stamford Bridge.

The Spain international – who scored a brace on his return to the Atletico Madrid side in their opening day win over Getafe – scored 24 goals in 72 appearances for Chelsea having moved to west London from Real Madrid for £60m in 2017.

Morata has since explained how his mental health suffered in his time with the Blues, and despite being frequently linked with a return to the Premier League, appears desperate to avoid the English top flight.

This one feels very much like a non-starter.