Manchester United's first approach for Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata has been rebuffed by the Spanish club as the Red Devils failed to meet their valuation of the player.

Jose Mourinho is desperate to strengthen his forward line ahead of next season after seeing his side struggle to consistently score goals during the course of the campaign. Moreover, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was United's top scorer last season, is unlikely to be handed a new deal after he was sidelined with a long-term knee injury.

The Telegraph reported recently that the 20-time English champions had made Morata their priority target to replace the Swede. United have reportedly made the first approach to bring the striker to Old Trafford, but according to Sky Sports, Real have turned down their initial offer of £52m ($67m, €59.5m) as they seek a fee of around £78m to allow the striker to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.

The Spanish capital club are interested in signing United goalkeeper David de Gea, but the report claims that the goalkeeper was not part of the offer with the Premier League club only interested in the striker. United will have to up their offer to sign Morata, who scored 15 goals in 26 La Liga appearances last season, and is also of interest to Chelsea.

The 24-year-old has struggled for game time under Zinedine Zidane, who has preferred compatriot Karim Benzema in the number nine role. Morata made just 14 starts in the La Liga last season, and is said to be seeking a move away to play more regularly.

Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata is also wanted by Chelsea and AC Milan Getty

Mourinho can offer the Spain international regular first-team football at Old Trafford with Marcus Rashford and the fading Wayne Rooney the only traditional number nines at the moment. Morata, however, is not the only striker being pursued by United as they also have Torino's Andreal Belotti and Everton's Romelu Lukaku on their radar.