The number of Arsenal stories surfacing this week suggests that they are already looking firmly ahead at next season – a campaign that looks almost certain to be led by Arsène Wenger.
Despite Wenger’s retention, the Arsenal hierarchy are determined that this year changes will have to be made regarding the signing of big names – a rejuvenated set of rivals has made that necessary if they want to stay in contention.
In the last 24 hours, leading Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed that Arsenal are looking to recruit Juventus’s Spanish striker Álvaro Morata in order to bolster their ranks ahead of a four-pronged assault on silverware next season.
— Messi Minutes (@MessiMinutes) March 23, 2016
Morata has been in good form since moving to Juventus in a €20million deal from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014. Although a return of 14 goals in 57 Serie A games does not sound fantastic on paper, the 23-year-old is constantly improving and has developed a knack for scoring on the big occasion.
He drew praise for his performances in Juve’s run to the Champions League final last season – scoring twice in the semi-final victory against old club Real Madrid as well the equalising goal in the 3-1 defeat to Barcelona in the final.
Morata himself has been full of praise for the Premier League recently. Speaking to Spanish publication Marca while on international duty with Spain, Morata outlined his belief that English football would suit his game:
“I like [English football].
“I like it a lot due to the characteristics of its football and because it’s more attractive for a striker as it’s not as tactical as Italian football.”
Asked whether that meant that he would consider leaving Italy to play in a league that suited his game better, Morata was not exactly defiant in his response, saying:
“I don’t know. I’m happy there, but we’ll see.”
Before hastily adding…
“My future doesn’t depend on me, it depends on the choices made by others, but like I’ve said over and over again, I’m happy here. I’m playing for the biggest club in Italy and it would be fantastic to stay here for many more years.“
While Arsenal’s interest is genuine, it is not a straightforward deal. The €20million agreement between Juve and Real contains a buyback clause believed to be in the region of €30million – a clause which Real would look to exercise should they feel they can sell him at a profit, particularly if he performs well at the upcoming European Championships.
There remains the possibility of course that Zinedine Zidane will want to utilise the player as part of his new-look side at the Bernabéu next season, but selling him on again appears (for now) to be the most likely option.
In that regard, it will be Real, and not Juve, that Arsenal will have to deal with if they want to land Morata this summer. Spanish newspaper AS recently reported that Florentino Pérez would look for upwards of €50million for the player.
He may well end up at Arsenal this summer, but this will be a deal not without its complications.
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