Chelsea striker Álvaro Morata closes in on Atlético Madrid loan

• La Liga club have £48.5m option on striker at end of the season
• Gonzalo Higuaín’s move to Chelsea nears completion

Álvaro Morata’s underwhelming 18-month stint with Chelsea appears to be drawing to a close with the Spain forward set to move to Atlético Madrid on an initial loan deal with an option to make the transfer permanent for £48.5m at the end of the season.

Morata was a club-record signing when he joined from Real Madrid for a little under £60m in the summer of 2017 but, despite a bright start to his career at Stamford Bridge, form and confidence have drained significantly over the past year.

There were 15 goals in all competitions over his first campaign in England – albeit only three in 23 games from Boxing Day – and this season he has scored only five in the top flight. The 26-year-old has failed to convince Maurizio Sarri of his suitability for the central striking position in his system, with the player himself pining for a return to Spain.

The Italian head coach has preferred to use Eden Hazard as a false No 9 to either Morata or Olivier Giroud in recent weeks and, with Chelsea confident of securing Gonzalo Higuaín on loan from Juventus this week, the Spaniard’s exit has been sanctioned.

Morata may have become closely associated with Real Madrid, but he had begun his career in the youth system at Atlético. His family are understood to have flown back to Madrid at the weekend, with the striker expected to follow in the next few days.

An agreement was struck between Chelsea and Juve for Higuaín late last week with the move currently waiting for Milan, with whom the Argentinian striker has spent the first six months of the campaign, to sign Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek as a replacement.

The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.

The Pole will cost around £35m with confirmation of that move expected on Tuesday.

Chelsea may be obliged to make Higuaín’s move permanent depending upon whether goal and achievement clauses written into his £170,000-a-week deal are triggered.

Another striker under contract at the club, the Belgium international Michy Batshuayi, remains in limbo as he awaits clearance to join Monaco for the second half of the season. The forward had a season-long stint at Valencia cancelled earlier this month and, having attracted tentative interest from Crystal Palace, has made clear his desire to work with Thierry Henry at the Ligue 1 club. However, Chelsea would prefer to sanction a sale for around £40m rather than another temporary switch and the French club are apparently now exploring the possibility of taking Napoli’s Carlos Vinicius on loan.


Dominic Fifield

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Chelsea close to signing Higuaín with Morata set to join Atlético Madrid
Chelsea are close to securing the signing of Gonzalo Higuaín from Juventus after submitting a formal offer for the Argentina international

Fabrizio Romano and Dominic Fifield

16, Jan, 2019 @10:49 PM

Article image
Chelsea set sights on Real Madrid’s Álvaro Morata to replace Diego Costa
Chelsea are prioritising the signing of Real Madrid’s Álvaro Morata having granted Diego Costa an extended leave of absence while they negotiate his proposed sale to Atlético Madrid

Dominic Fifield

10, Jul, 2017 @5:42 PM

Article image
Chelsea poised to sign João Félix on loan from Atlético Madrid for rest of season
Chelsea have agreed to pay about €10m to borrow the Portugal forward João Félix for the rest of the season and no buy option is expected to be included

Jacob Steinberg

09, Jan, 2023 @5:14 PM

Article image
Chelsea confirm deal agreed to sign Álvaro Morata from Real Madrid
Chelsea are set to complete the signing of Álvaro Morata from Real Madrid

Dominic Fifield and Fabrizio Romano

19, Jul, 2017 @4:06 PM

Article image
Filipe Luís sold back to Atlético Madrid by Chelsea
Filipe Luís has been sold back to Atlético Madrid by Chelsea after the clubs agreed terms believed to be in the region of £16m

Guardian sport

28, Jul, 2015 @1:08 PM

Article image
Chelsea target Koke: I will play for Atlético Madrid next season
Koke has insisted he will not leave Atlético Madrid this summer despite Chelsea’s interest in signing the Spain midfielder

Guardian sport

15, May, 2015 @9:30 AM

Article image
Chelsea offered chance to sign Arda Turan from Atlético Madrid
Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign Arda Turan from Atlético Madrid in a move which, if a deal can be agreed, would most likely end the Premier League champions’ immediate pursuit of Antoine Griezmann

Dominic Fifield

01, Jul, 2015 @12:20 PM

Article image
Chelsea announce signing of Álvaro Morata on a five-year contract
Chelsea have announced the signing of the striker Álvaro Morata from Real Madrid on a five-year contract

Guardian sport

21, Jul, 2017 @6:01 PM

Article image
Diego Costa: my destination is already set. I must return to Atlético Madrid
Diego Costa has said his ‘destination is already set’ after repeating his desire to leave Chelsea for Atlético Madrid

Ben Fisher

17, Aug, 2017 @12:52 PM

Article image
Swansea City complete £15.5m deal for Atlético Madrid striker Borja Bastón
Swansea City have completed a club record £15.5m deal for the Atlético Madrid striker Borja Bastón, as a replacement for André Ayew after his move to West Ham

Guardian sport

11, Aug, 2016 @11:55 AM