Alvaro Morata’s move to La Liga title challengers Atletico Madrid is yet to be completed, with both sides saying they are still some way off an agreement for the 26 year-old.
The Spanish international looks certain to end his stay in West London, but time is running out ahead of the closing of winter transfer window at the end of January.
Atletico have confirmed that they are interested in bringing Morata back to Madrid, where he spent five years at rivals Real Madrid, across two separate spells, however manager Diego Simeone confirmed that nothing is yet agreed between them.
The former Argentina international told reporters at his morning press conference, ahead of their game against Getafe, that the move ‘was not a reality’ at that stage, leading to speculation that any move could go right down to the wire.
Chelsea have also moved to calm rumours that Morata has already left the club, with assistant manager Gianfranco Zola commenting that he believed a deal was in place with Atletico, but it was still being worked on by both clubs.
That leaves Morata in limbo at the club, despite appearing to be on the brink of a return to the club where he played during his youth career.
However the deal could be revived in the coming days, with the other transfer ‘dominoes’ already having fallen into place, to trigger Morata’s exit.
The Blues have brought in Gonzalo Higuain on an initial loan deal from Juventus, with AC Milan signing Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatek, to replace Higuain – who had been on loan a the San Siro.
That means Morata is moved further down the striker pecking order at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri a big admirer of Higuain, having previously worked with him at Napoli.
Morata has endured a low key 2018-19, scoring just five Premier League goals, with Sarri frequently preferring Eden Hazard in a central attacking role.
If he does make the move to Atletico, in what is reported to be a six month loan for the remainder of this season, with an option to activate a purchase clause in the summer.
Where Morata would fit into Simeone’s side remains unclear, with talisman Antoine Griezmann signing a new contract less than a year ago, and Diego Costa and Nikola Kalinic vying for the centre forward role.
How well do you know Spanish football? Want to challenge the best La Liga Fantasy Managers? Play www.liga-fantasy.com now!