Manchester United’s pursuit of a world-class striker this summer has been football’s worst kept secret. Following the petering out of the Antoine Griezmann saga, it looks as though the club have turned their attention to Alvaro Morata, with Sky Italy reporting this evening that Real Madrid have rejected an initial approach of £52.4M for the Spanish front-man.
It is understood that United goalkeeper David De Gea was not part of this offer, contrary to widespread reports that he was going to be sold for £22M and Morata. It is believed that Madrid are holding out for in excess of £70M for the forward – who will be seeking regular first team football after playing second-fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema this season.
Morata has been one of the most sought after players in recent summers, largely due to his clinical presence inside the area, with the Spaniard contributing 20 goals in a bit-part role last term. It is believed that the forward’s situation is also being monitored by Chelsea and former club Juventus.
Sky Italy are also reporting that should United fall short in their efforts to lure Morata to Old Trafford, they will turn their attentions to Torino forward Andrea Belotti.
Belotti scored 26 league goals in another stellar campaign in Serie A, becoming the first forward under the age of 24 to score 24+ league goals in a single season in Italy’s top-tier since Andriy Shevchenko in 1999/2000. It is believed that Belotti possesses a buyout clause of £87.3M.
Andrea Belotti is first player to score 24 goals in a single #SerieA season before his 24th birthday since Andriy Shevchenko in 1999/2000
— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) April 9, 2017
Jose Mourinho is keen to dive straight into his war chest to get either Morata or Belotti, with reports also linking United with James Rodriguez, Michael Keane and Radja Naingolan among countless others. It seems likely that Mourinho will have little or no problem asking United to smash the world-record fee they paid for Paul Pogba last summer if necessary.
Old Trafford may see more arrivals and departures than your average airport this summer.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena