The Alvaro Morata transfer saga has taken a new twist after reports in Spain claimed Real Madrid were considering keeping him at the Santiago Bernabeu. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have all been linked with his services in recent weeks, but Cadena Cope now claims that the Juventus striker's future could lie with the Champions League winners instead.
The 23-year-old striker is one of the most talked about players of the transfer window, after it emerged Real Madrid would activate a €30m (£23.8m) clause to bring him back from Juventus, only to sell him on again for an instant profit to a Premier League side.
Arsenal originally looked to be the main candidates to acquire his services amid reports Arsene Wenger had earmarked him as the man to bolster the Gunners' attack ahead of next season – having already tried to grab his signature when the player moved to Juventus in the summer of 2014. However, Arsenal's interest appeared to cool down after Wenger seemingly turned his attention to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy.
AS then reported Chelsea had become front-runners in the race due to the presence of new manager Antonio Conte – who was the main that signed the Spain international for Juventus in 2014, although he never coached him as the current Italy boss resigned from his post at La Vecchia Signora just days later.
Marca then claimed that Manchester United were ready to join the cibtest with an offer worth more than €60m, as Jose Mourinho wanted the player alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford, having been the manager who handed Morata his debut at Real Madrid during his three-year tenure in La Liga.
But Cadena Cope journalist Paco Gonzalez, one of the most popular reporters in Spain, has now suggested Real Madrid officials are considering a U-Turn, re-signing the player from Juventus but keeping him in Zinedine Zidane's ranks.
Morata would then serve as a back-up for the BBC trident of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, as Jese Rodriguez is expected to leave the club on loan to continue his development elsewhere.
However, Zidane and Morata will have the last word on the deal, as the striker has previously said he doesn't want to go to a team to serve as a mere back, having moved to Juventus in 2014 due to the lack of playing time under Carlo Ancelotti. The report insists that the Premier League tio are keen on paying a lucrative fee for his services, but if the French boss wants him in his ranks this will be academic.
Cope adds that the twist in Los Blancos' could be due to the club's proposed Fifa transfer ban, which is currently suspended. Should the ban be instated, the signing of a young player like Morata would allow them to keep the position covered ahead of the future should they be unable to sign new squad members for two windows, as happened previously with Barcelona.
Furthermore, Cope claims that Real Madrid are struggling to sign other targets after Juventus demanded more than €140m to part ways with Paul Pogba.