Espanyol have confirmed they are seeking the services of Jese Rodriguez in the coming transfer window, following reports Real Madrid will part ways with the Canary Island forward to make space for Alvaro Morata. The news would be a blow for Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, who are all tracking Morata.
Spanish publication AS reported earlier this week that the fates of Jese and Morata are entwined, as there is only space for one of the academy products in Zinedine Zidane's attack. Originally, the re-signing of Morata from Juventus thanks to a €30m (£25m, $33m) buy-back clause was meant to lead to an immediate sale to a Premier League side, who would pay an inflated fee for his services.
Morata's agent confirmed he had received offers from "top clubs in England", following a report in the Daily Telegraph that Chelsea had opened talks over a £40m deal for the striker.
After Morata's return to Real Madrid was made official though, some suggested Los Blancos may keep him – with Zidane sending Jese somewhere else, either on loan or in a transfer with a buy-back clause.
Espanyol have now been named as a potential destination, with club CEO Ramon Robert confirming they would welcome the player. However, Robert believes a deal would not be easy, with Real preferring a permanent move to a loan.
"There are many names on the list who we are analysing in different positions. We would be delighted to have Jese but he is at a club [Real Madrid] that will not let him leave on loan easily," the Espanyol chief said to Llobregat Blanc-i-Blau.