Chelsea are set to make an €80m (£70m, $89.5m) bid for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata after Manchester United swooped in to complete the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Everton. The Blues were favourites to land the Belgian but for United's intervention, following Real's delay in allowing the Morata deal to close.
Spanish publication AS reports that the transfer will be completed in the next few days once the deal is closed, with the Blues in a hurry given the impending departure of Diego Costa. Real have a better understanding with Chelsea than United, which should make for a faster transfer after the deal was held up for weeks.
Chelsea were always favourites to sign Morata but the higher management wanted Lukaku which allowed the Red Devils to take the lead. Antonio Conte is a huge fan of the forward and facilitated his transfer to Juventus. Lukaku's unavailability means that the Italian can finally fulfil his dream of bringing the 24-year-old to Stamford Bridge and build an attack of his choice.
The report states that there is unlikely to be any hurdles to reach an agreement between the player and the Blues with both parties willing to get this over the line. Morata is likely to sign a long-term contract with an increase in his current wages in Spain.
Morata was the second highest goalscorer in all competitions for Real last season with 20. However, with the World Cup next year, the former Juventus man is ready to make a move to England for more time on the pitch. On the other hand, Lukaku has scored 25 goals in the league for the Toffees and is a tried and tested goalscorer for English conditions,
Meanwhile, Chelsea have completed the signing of Germany defender Antonio Rudigerfrom AS Roma. Manager Antonio Conte has identified the 24-year-old as an important part of the back three which currently has Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta as the first choice defenders.