Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata is not yet certain of a place in the first team at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite rejoining the club from Juventus. Manager Zinedine Zidane failed to confirm whether the Spain international would be part of his plans this summer, intensifying speculation that he could move to Chelsea.
The 11-time Champions League winners exercised a clause in Morata's contract at Juventus that allowed them to bring back to the Spanish capital for €30m (£23m, $30.22m), according to BBC Sport, two years after selling him to the Serie A champions. Yet there are no guarantees he will remain at the club beyond the end of the summer transfer window.
Marca understands Morata is in constant contact with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte over a potential move to Stamford Bridge. The Italian coach is reportedly ready to offer the 23-year-old regular playing time in the Blues first team – an assurance that Zidane is unable to give the forward.
"He [Morata] is another member of this team," Zidane said, according to the Evening Standard. "He's back and I'm happy to have him. He is an academy product, who knows what Real Madrid is and truthfully we are, and me above all, happy to have him with us. Later we'll see. We have a large squad and all the players will be important. Alvaro will be one more of the team."
Chelsea have already made one attacking signing this summer in the form of Michy Batshuayi from Marseille, and with Diego Costa and Loic Remy in reserve Conte may hold off from adding a further forward to his artillery. N'Golo Kante became the club's second signing over the weekend when he joined from Leicester City.
Reports in July from Marca suggested that Chelsea had already had an offer of €60m rejected for Morata – who scored three goals for Spain at the European Championships. With Karim Benzema ahead of him in the pecking order at Real, he would be best served looking elsewhere for regular first team football – yet his club's financial demands would likely have to relent for that to become a possibility.