Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata has been linked with a move to the Premier League since March. Getty

Chelsea are currently favourites to win the race for coveted much coveted striker Alvaro Morata, according to AS. The Juventus is known to be a top priority for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger ahead of next season, but the Spanish publication claims both Antonio Conte's new side and Paris Saint-Germain are the new frontrunners, amid Jamie Vardy's potential move to the Emirates Stadium.

Twenty-three-year-old Morata moved to the Serie A champions in the summer of 2014, but Real Madrid included a €30m (£23.6m, $34m) buy-back option in the final deal.

Reports in Spain in recent months suggested Los Blancos were ready to take advantage of Morata's soaring reputation to trigger that option, only to sell him to a Premier League side for an instant profit.

In March AS reported a number of clubs were after the player, but Arsenal was his most likely destination.

The Telegraph later confirmed those claims, saying Wenger had identified Morata as the man to lead his attacking line next year – having previously attempted to sign the player when he instead moved to Serie A.

The Sun added more fuel to the saga last month, claiming the Gunners had launched an opening £28m bid to lure Morata to the Emirates Stadium.

But AS has now reported a new twist, alleging the striker is close to Chelsea after the Bleus have stepped up transfer negotiations in recent days.

Conte was the man who brought the Spaniard to Juventus in the summer of 2014, although the Italian did not work with the player as he resigned from his post at La Vecchia Signora just days later.

PSG are reportedly also after the player as a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Morata is understood to prefer a move to Stamford Bridge.

The move comes amid the start of a potential merry-go-round for strikers this summer, with Arsenal ready to trigger the £20m release clause for Vardy and reports suggesting Atletico Madrid are ready to make a last-ditch attempt to lure Diego Costa back to La Liga – meaning Conte will need a new hitman to lead his Chelsea attack.