Man United raise bid for Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata to €70m

English club had opening offer of €60m turned down by European champions

  Striker Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring Spain’s  second goal in their friendly match against  Colombia  at the Nueva Condomina stadium in Murcia, Spain. Photograph: Cristobal Osete/EPA

Striker Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring Spain’s second goal in their friendly match against Colombia at the Nueva Condomina stadium in Murcia, Spain. Photograph: Cristobal Osete/EPA

 

Manchester United are increasingly hopeful of completing the signing of Alvaro Morata after the Real Madrid striker informed the European champions that he would like to leave Santiago Bernabeu this summer.

After confirmation that last season’s top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be offered a new contract at Old Trafford, United have acted quickly to secure his replacement and have offered around €70 million for the 24-year-old Spain international. Having refused their opening offer of €60 million earlier this week, Madrid are holding out for a fee closer to €90 million but could now be willing to accept a compromise after holding talks with Morata’s representative, Juanma Lopez on Friday.

He is understood to have informed Madrid’s general director, Jose Angel Sanchez, that the player who scored 20 goals in all competitions last season has decided to leave the club in search of regular first-team football.

Morata, who came through Madrid’s youth sides before being sold to Juventus in 2014, started only 14 times in La Liga last season having rejoined the club in the summer but is believed to have agreed personal terms in principle with United.

“Alvaro is a player who wants to play a more important role,” Lopez told Foot Mercato on Thursday. “He wants to play more. Which is normal for an attacker who has scored 19 goals.”

Jose Mourinho had identified Morata as his primary attacking target after it became clear that Ibrahimovic would not be retained for next season after injuring his knee in the Europa League semi-final tie against Anderlecht in April. The Portuguese gave him his first-team debut at Madrid in December 2010 but Morata left the club having made only 37 appearances in nearly four seasons.

Morata scored Spain’s second goal in the 2-2 friendly draw against Colombia in Murcia on Wednesday night.

United have also been linked with a move for the Torino striker Andrea Belotti as Mourinho seeks to rebuild his attacking options, while reports in Portugal on Friday claimed that a €34 million move for Benfica’s Swedish defender Victor Lindelof could be back on.

(Guardian service)

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