“Come to me, you will be important.”
Those are the words Jose Mourinho used to convince Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata into a move to Old Trafford, according to a report in the Spanish press.
Marca, the Madrid-based newspaper, claims Morata, 24, has made up his mind on a transfer that will cost United somewhere between £62 million and £79 million.
For much of last season it seemed a foregone conclusion that Mourinho would take Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid. But a serious injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is no longer at the club, left the Portuguese needing a “number nine” to hold the ball up as well as score goals.
Morata has emerged as the most likely signing to replace Ibrahimovic in part due to his dissatisfaction at Real. Marca claims he is unhappy predominantly playing as a substitute. Mourinho has promised to make him feel loved and valued while Morata, who played at Juventus in Serie A for two seasons before returning to Santiago Bernabeu for the 2016-17 campaign, has heard good things about United from Spain teammates Ander Herrera and David De Gea.
Morata’s price may yet be a sticking point. The report claims United and Real are going to meet on Monday, though they remain a way apart on a valuation. United would like Morata for £62 million while Real wants £79 million, which would make the player the fourth most-expensive transfer of all time.
It seems likely the two clubs will meet somewhere in between though huge transfer fees pose little problem to United, as it proved last summer by sanctioning a world-record deal for Paul Pogba. If Morata has been so convinced by Mourinho, United may now hold the power in the deal, making it reasonable to expect to see Morata lining up in United red for the first game of the new Premier League season in August.
Source: Teddy Cutler| Newsweek