Juan Mata believes that Manchester United could still sign Alvaro Morata despite bringing in Romelu Lukaku earlier this month.
The Spaniard, hellbent on receiving more game time elsewhere, appeared to be on the verge of completing a move to Old Trafford, with an agreement reportedly “hours away”.
And then, out of almost nowhere, came the news that a £75m fee had been agreed for Romelu Lukaku – seemingly destined for Chelsea – to move to Old Trafford.
But Mata, speaking to Cadena Cope, has refused to rule out the prospect of his Spain teammate completing a move to Old Trafford.
“It looks tough to see Alvaro Morata in a Red Devils shirt with the arrival of Romelu,” he said.
“We’ve signed an important player in attack and it’s difficult, although you never know. Things can happen in the last few days, but I wish Alvaro the best.”
How Morata took the news that, following weeks upon weeks of negotiations, his move to Man United – his ticket to a fully deserved regular place up front for a big side – was dead in the water is something I continue to contemplate.
Marca even claimed that the 24-year-old dyed his hair red in a weird frenzy of enthusiastic expectation, only to shave it all off (probably to the tune of a certain Simon and Garfunkel song) after the whole thing fell through.
And yet, as a footballer, especially somebody like Morata who has experience at big sides, the striker must have been aware of the fragility – and indeed the unstoppable alacrity – of transfers at the highest level, and how everything can change in a flash, which is why we should take Mata’s suggestion seriously.