Morata close to joining Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid is in advanced talks to sign Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata, according to reports.

Chelsea would prefer a permanent deal, with the club eager to recoup as much of their investment back as possible, having signed Morata for a club-record £70m from Real Madrid less than two years ago. They value him at £45m.

Morata wants to return to Madrid, but the deal hinges on whether Chelsea can bring in a replacement. It is understood Chelsea are increasingly confident they will sign Gonzalo Higuain on loan with an option to buy.

The Spain international was not even on the substitutes’ bench for Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday and was pictured in Madrid on Monday.

He has been linked with a Stamford Bridge exit after losing his place as Chelsea’s first-choice striker, with Sarri preferring to utilise Eden Hazard as his main point of reference in attack.

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