Real Madrid and Manchester United have begun formal negotiations over a fee for striker Alvaro Morata, according to reports from Spain.
The La Liga and European champions are holding out for an optimal fee in order to free up the funds needed to pursue AS Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe.
Florentino Perez, speaking earlier this week, denied reports that Man United had launched a bid for the 24-year-old, who is keen on receiving more game time elsewhere after only making 14 La Liga starts last term.
But according to Spanish outlet Marca, who have close ties with Madrid, the two clubs will start formally negotiating over a mutually acceptable fee.
The report also states that Madrid are holding out for an offer of around €80m and that Jose Mourinho, keen on securing a Zlatan Ibrahimovic replacement before pre-season starts, would be open to meeting that valuation – which is, I should add, considerably less than what Torino were demanding for Andrea Belotti.
€80m for a striker with just 44 starts in four years may come across as a bit much and will, no doubt, prompt a cacophony of crying laughing face emojis from Arsenal fans on Twitter, but Morata’s arrival – in very similar fashion to Paul Pogba – signals a long-term investment.
He is an irresistible talent, sadly limited to only being able to show it sporadically so far in his career. There is an element of mystery about seeing him finally occupy a central role at a big side, and I for one cannot wait to see what he will offer.