Manchester United could hold the key to Barcelona's plan to sign Alvaro Morata before the end of the January transfer window. The Spanish forward is currently on a season-long loan with Juventus from Atletico Madrid, but Xavi Hernandez is keen to bring him to the Camp Nou, but Massimiliano Allegri has proven to be a major obstacle.

The Catalan club's manager has made signing Morata a priority following the forced retirement of Sergio Aguero. Xavi initiated contact with the Spain international, who is keen to cut short his loan with the Serie A giants and join the Camp Nou outfit on a temporary basis before making it permanent in the summer.

Barcelona have contacted both Juventus and Atletico Madrid about signing Morata, but despite the player's interest in returning to his homeland, Allegri has refused to cooperate. The Italian manager has no intention of letting the former Real Madrid forward leave, and will only consider it if they are able to land a quality alternative.

Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata scored Spain's winner against Sweden JORGE GUERRERO/AFP

According to Sport, this is where the Red Devils and Anthony Martial enter the picture. The France international is keen to end his Old Trafford nightmare, and Juventus want to sign him. However, United's hefty demands have seen the move getting blocked, leaving Juventus with no room to negotiate.

The Turin club's sporting director Maurizio Arrivabene revealed that any potential move for Martial is not possible at the moment because of the Premier League club's demand that interested clubs cover the Frenchman's full wages and pay a loan fee. Juventus are also strapped for cash and will be unable to cover the £150,000-a-week Martial currently earns, while also paying a loan fee expected to be around €7 million.

"With current conditions [he means loan fee + full salary paid] it's not a feasible deal for us. Considering certain numbers, there are no advanced talks - we don't expect any discount from Man United," Arrivabene said, as per Fabrizio Romano.

Unless Juventus make a breakthrough in their negotiations with United, they are unwilling to allow Morata to join Barcelona. Apart from Juventus, La Liga club Sevilla are also interested in signing Martial, but are only willing to cover half the player's wages, which again has held up the move.

Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images