Manchester United are closing in on a deal to complete the much-anticipated signing of Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid. IBTimes UK understand the Red Devils made significant progress on the transfer over the weekend and the deal could be completed in the next 72 hours.

Morata has been identified as Jose Mourinho's top target to bolster the United attack ahead of the upcoming season since Antoine Griezmann decided to continue one more season at Atletico Madrid.

The 24-year-old striker has set his sights on moving to the Premier League giants after having grown frustrated with his secondary role under Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Spanish international was previously linked with Chelsea and AC Milan but weeks ago he already decided to continue his career at Old Trafford after being personally approached by Mourinho. The current United boss handed Morata his first-team debut at Real back in December 2010 during a 3-1 victory over Zaragoza during his spell as manager.

Negotiations between both clubs have been slower than expected with Real in a midst of a presidential election - while the striker has also got married.

Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata is set to move to Old Trafford. Getty

United stepped up the negotiations on 23 June by testing Real's resolve with a first offer worth around £62m ($80.4m). The 12-time Champions League winners considered that bid insufficient and the talks consequently suffered a new delay.

However, IBTimes UK understand that Morata's move to United is now closer than ever after a major hurdle in the talks was cleared over the weekend. Hopes are high that a deal can be concluded before the start of the week.

This major development in the saga comes after Spanish publication AS spotted both Morata's father Alfonso and his agent, Juanma López, at the Bernabeu on Monday morning (3 July).

Mourinho has asked Ed Woodward to make an effort so that Morata arrives in time for when United depart for their pre-season tour to the United States and the news suggests the Portuguese coach's demands will be satisfied.

Morata's move to United is now no longer a question of if but when and barring a last minute problem the next 72 hours could be pivotal. The former Juventus striker expects the club to settle the finals terms of the agreement in order to become the club's second summer signing following in the footsteps of Victor Lindelöf.