Alvaro Morata is the latest striker to be suggested to Manchester United as they scramble to sign another centre-forward, reports have indicated.
Manchester United need a new number nine this summer after releasing Edinson Cavani at the end of his contract. Furthermore, there have been serious doubts about the long-term commitment of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Although Anthony Martial is back in contention to fight for his place after time on loan with Sevilla, it may benefit the club to find another frontman.
With that in mind, they were exploring a surprise deal for Bologna forward Marko Arnautovic. However, they have now backed away from that move due to the Serie A side’s demands and fan backlash.
Already, a number of alternatives are cropping up – some from within the club’s own shortlist, others from the minds of agents and selling clubs.
According to ESPN, for example, they have been offered the chance to sign former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard is back with Atletico Madrid after a couple of seasons on loan at Juventus.
Atletico still have him under contract for two more years. Hence, they may prefer to move him on this summer. Links with a permanent return to Juventus linger, but there have been suggestions he could get a second chance in the Premier League.
Arsenal were tipped to take him earlier in the window, before they brought in Gabriel Jesus. Now, it is Manchester United to be the subject of speculation.
Ten Hag seeks backup striker
ESPN claim that Erik ten Hag’s side have been offered Morata’s services. It is not made clear if that was by his agents or Atletico themselves.
Nor is United’s potential stance on a deal for Morata apparent at present. He was not exactly prolific during his Chelsea days, but stranger things have happened.
The report notes that Ten Hag wants a striker who would be fairly content with a place on the bench. He also wants that player to physical, preferably. Whether Morata would be willing to play a supporting role is unclear.
He has started 20 league games or more in each of the past five seasons (one of which saw him split his time between Chelsea and Atletico).
Does Alvaro Morata deserve second chance?
When he was with his previous English employers, Chelsea, Morata only scored 24 goals from 72 games. A record of one in three certainly isn’t bad, but Chelsea didn’t see enough in him to keep him more than 18 months.
Since then, he has hit double figures of goals across all competitions in three consecutive full seasons – one with Atletico and two with Juventus.
Hence, he is not the worst striker in the world. But he has encountered some struggles that would prompt some doubts.
Man Utd may be best off avoiding him unless the deal is reasonable. If they can’t find anyone else, though, he might be someone to consider as a last resort.