Spanish Striker Morata Returns To Juventus From Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid's Spanish forward Alvaro Morata (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a second goal during the Spanish League football match between Atletico Madrid and Mallorca at the Wanda Metropolitan stadium in Madrid on July 3, 2020. PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP
File photo: Atletico Madrid’s Spanish forward Alvaro Morata (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a second goal during the Spanish League football match between Atletico Madrid and Mallorca at the Wanda Metropolitan stadium in Madrid on July 3, 2020.
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

 

Spanish striker Alvaro Morata on Tuesday returned to Juventus on loan from Atletico Madrid, the Turin club announced.

The much-travelled Morata, who is 27, played for Juventus from 2014-2016, scoring 27 goals in 93 appearances.

He graduated through the youth system at Real Madrid and had two stints at the club either side of his first spell at Juventus. He also had a spell at Chelsea before joining Atletico, initially on loan

He has joined Juventus on a season-long loan, which will cost 10 million euros (11.7 million dollars), the club said.

“He will be part of this year’s team, with an option for a one-year extension to the loan, plus an option to buy,” said Juventus on their web site, adding that the transfer fee would be 45 million euros, in three annual payments of 15 million euros, while a loan extension would cost 10 million euros at the end of which Juventus would have another option to buy, for 35 million euros.

“There’s nothing more exciting than a homecoming and the return of Alvaro Morata to Turin is a beautiful one at that!” said Juventus.

After Gonzalo Higuain left for Miami last week, Juve’s new coach, Andrea Pirlo, needed a solid centre-forward. The club was linked to Barcelona’s Luis Suarez and Roma’s Edin Dzeko but Morata, who played with Pirlo in his first spell at club, has arrived instead.

Spanish media immediately speculated that Morata’s departure could clear the way for Atletico to recruit Suarez.

Morata scored in both legs in the 2015 Champions League semi-finals as Juventus beat one of his former clubs, Real Madrid, 3-2 on aggregate.

He then scored a second-half equaliser in the final before goals by Suarez and Neymar gave Barcelona a 3-1 victory.

His last goal for Juventus was the winner in the 2016 Copa Italia final against AC Milan, when he came off the bench 18 minutes into extra time and scored two minutes later.

“Even though Alvaro left the club four years ago, after having won five trophies in two years: two Scudetti, two Italian Cups, one Italian Super Cup, he has always remained Bianconero in his heart and his return will be as though he never even said goodbye.

“Because Alvaro is one of us,” said Juventus.

AFP

Atletico Madrid Complete Loan Signing Of Morata From Chelsea

 

 

Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement with Chelsea for the loan signing of Alvaro Morata until the end of next season, the two clubs said on Monday.

The striker, who had a disappointing time at Stamford Bridge, passed his medical on Sunday, the Spanish side, his first club, said in a statement on its website.

“I’m very happy and proud to be here. I can’t wait to start training, meet my new teammates and play,” Morata said.

Morata, 26, played in Atletico’s youth ranks as a teenager but later joined their city rivals Real Madrid in 2008, where he enjoyed two separate spells either side of a move to Juventus.

Some of Atleti’s fans have not forgotten the player’s links to Real, with a minority even chanting against his arrival during the team’s La Liga victory over Getafe on Saturday.

READ ALSO:  ‘China’s Maradona’ Signs For Espanyol

“Their opinion is respectable and people can say what they want,” coach Diego Simeone said after the match. “I look for players that serve the club and the team.”

After an impressive start at Chelsea, Morata lost form and confidence. He scored 24 goals in 74 appearances for the English club since signing for Chelsea from Real Madrid the summer of 2017.

Coach Maurizio Sarri admitted last week the Spaniard had requested to leave at the start of this month.

“Sarri’s preference for using Eden Hazard as a central striker during the last couple of months, however, has restricted Morata’s involvement,” Chelsea explained in a statement, adding: “We wish Alvaro the very best of luck for his loan period.”

Morata will bolster Simeone’s options up front, which already include the in-form Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa, another signing from Chelsea, who is expected back from injury next month.

“With Morata’s arrival, we add a very talented striker to our club, who has the ability to score with his feet and his head thanks to his height,” the Atletico statement said.

Croatia’s Nikola Kalinic, who joined Atletico in August, could be allowed to leave.

Atletico Madrid, who are second in the Spanish league, have already allowed Portuguese winger Gelson Martins, 23, to join Ligue 1 Monaco on loan until the end of the season.

 

AFP

Morata Needs Goals To Boost Confidence, Says Chelsea Boss Sarri

Chelsea’s Spanish striker Alvaro Morata. Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Alvaro Morata needs goals to boost his fragile confidence, said Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri after the striker again failed to find the net in the Europa League match against PAOK in Greece.

Morata, 25, scored freely in the first few weeks after joining Chelsea last year but has appeared short of confidence recently. He has scored once this season, in August’s win over Arsenal.

“Alvaro has to gain confidence with one, two, three goals,” Sarri said following the 1-0 win on Thursday, during which the Spain striker and Chelsea missed a number of chances.

“I am not able to give him confidence,” he said in comments carried by the British press on Friday. “In this match, he has had three, four opportunities. He was unlucky.

“I hope for him that in the future I can try to help him, but the confidence can become only with goals.

“I have to say also, for maybe the first time in this season Alvaro was ready in the box. He was on the ball and was active.”

Chelsea have won all five of their Premier League games so far under Sarri ahead of Sunday’s trip to West Ham, and Willian’s seventh-minute strike was the difference in Greece.

But the 59-year-old Italian bemoaned his side’s inability to finish off their opponents.

“When it is time to kill the match we have to kill the match,” he said.

The one major blot was a stoppage-time shoulder injury for Pedro, which could rule him out of Sunday’s trip to West Ham.

“I don’t know exactly the situation,” said Sarri. “I have spoken with the doctor but only for a few seconds. The doctor told me that probably it’s not a very serious injury.”

AFP

Victor Moses Helps Chelsea Keep Champions League Hopes Alive

 

Chelsea Keep Champions League Hopes Alive At Burnley
Cheslea’s players celebrate with Chelsea’s Nigerian midfielder Victor Moses (C) after he scores their winning goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on April 19, 2018.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Victor Moses helped Chelsea to keep their outside chances of chasing down Tottenham Hotspur for a place in next season’s Champions League alive as a much-changed side secured a 2-1 win at Burnley.

At the other end of the table, Southampton crept closer to relegation as a 0-0 draw at Leicester leaves the Saints still four points off safety with just four games remaining to save themselves.

Chelsea closed to within five points of fourth-placed Spurs, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men also have a kinder run-in than their London rivals.

Southampton and Chelsea meet for the second time in eight days in a FA Cup semi-final on Sunday after Antonio Conte’s side came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at St. Mary’s on Saturday.

And with the Cup representing Chelsea’s last chance at silverware this season, Conte left Eden Hazard and Willian on the bench as Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata started together up front for the first time.

Burnley’s opening day 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge was an early indicator as to how the season would develop for both sides with Sean Dyche’s side now dreaming of qualifying for European competition for the first time since 1967.

However, Burnley’s hopes of leapfrogging Arsenal into sixth were dealt a blow by a first defeat in seven games.

Conte has lamented Chelsea’s inability to take their chances all season, and it was another night to forget for club record signing Morata as he passed up a host of opportunities to score just his third goal of 2018.

The Spanish international’s first clear opening was well saved by England World Cup hopeful Nick Pope low to his right.

Pope, though, could arguably have done better when the opening goal arrived on 20 minutes as he punched Victor Moses’s cross into the onrushing Kevin Long and the ball ricocheted off the defender into his own net.

Much worse was to come for Morata on the hour mark when he burst clear on goal, but, with just Pope to beat, side-footed wide of the target.

That miss looked like it could be the turning point in the game when four minutes later Burnley levelled in fortuitous fashion.

Joey Gudmundsson’s long-range effort was heading well wide until it deflected off Ashley Barnes to completely wrong-foot Chelsea ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois.

Just minutes later, though, Chelsea retook the lead when Moses fired in low at Pope’s near post from Emerson Palmieri’s cross.

Morata then stormed off the field in disgust at himself as he was replaced by Hazard for the final 20 minutes.

But despite some delightful touches by the Belgian, Chelsea had to settle for victory by the finest of margins.

At the King Power, Leicester manager Claude Puel took his revenge after Southampton sacked the Frenchman despite finishing eighth and reaching the League Cup final last season by pushing his former employers closer to the drop.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Shane Long had Southampton’s best effort as he was denied by a point-blank save by Leicester’s reserve goalkeeper Ben Hamer.

At the other end, Alex McCarthy also made a smart stop from Jamie Vardy as Southampton at least stopped a run of four straight league defeats.

AFP

Conte Bemoans Loss Of Morata Ahead Of Everton Trip

Chelsea’s Spanish striker Alvaro Morata. Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Antonio Conte says the loss of Alvaro Morata for Chelsea’s trip to Everton is a blow to his side’s hopes of maintaining their distant pursuit of Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Morata was booked after scoring the added-time winning goal in the midweek League Cup quarter-final victory over Bournemouth that set up a semi-final meeting with Arsenal.

The Spain striker, who had come off the bench, initially stuck the ball under his shirt in a gesture to his pregnant wife but he earned the caution for kicking the ball away as Bournemouth attempted to restart the game quickly.

It was Morata’s fifth booking of the season, earning the forward a one-game ban and leaving Conte with a decision to make about how best to replace his side’s leading scorer.

Michy Batshuayi is the squad’s only other recognised central striker but the Belgian failed to impress after being handed a rare start this week. Previously, Conte has preferred to fill the gap by employing Eden Hazard as a false nine and he is expected to do that once again.

Chelsea’s head coach Antonio Conte addresses a press conference. GLYN KIRK / AFP

“For sure, Morata should have played against Everton,” said the Chelsea boss. “He would have started the game, for sure. But now I have to prepare a different plan.

“I have different options. I have a day to make the best decision ahead of the Everton game. At training everyone was in good form, and I have time to make a decision.”

Chelsea remain 14 points adrift of City in third place and the current priority is to maintain the four-point gap to fourth place.

“This match is very important for us, the last game before Christmas,” said Conte. “I’d like to spend a good Christmas with a good game, a good win.

“It would be very important to get three points, but we know very well that, in the last five games, Everton won four games.

“They are in a good moment of form. They changed the coach and are having good results. For this reason, we must pay great attention on Saturday.”

Everton have picked up 13 points from 15 available since Sam Allardyce agreed to become their manager last month.

That run has lifted the club to ninth, with 11 league goals scored and only two conceded in that time.

Former England captain Wayne Rooney is also enjoying a revival, with six goals in his past five appearances, including one on Monday as Everton beat Swansea 3-1 at Goodison Park.

Winger Aaron Lennon suggested that Allardyce’s arrival has lifted the mood of the players.

“We all know Chelsea are a great side but we’re in a good run of form and at Goodison we fancy our chances against anyone so we’re looking forward to that one,” Lennon said.

AFP

Morata, Lukaku Seek Return To Form As Chelsea Face Man Utd

Morata Photo: Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

 

Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku will be under pressure to fire their teams back into the Premier League title race when the misfiring strikers clash in Chelsea’s showdown with Manchester United on Sunday.

Chelsea forward Morata and United frontman Lukaku were the toast of their clubs after celebrating their close-season transfers with a barrage of goals.

But, with Chelsea and United battling to keep pace with leaders Manchester City, Morata and Lukaku have lost their Midas touch at the wrong moment, putting them under the microscope at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

United manager Jose Mourinho splashed out £75 million ($98 million) to sign Lukaku from Everton after persuading the Belgium international to snub interest from Blues boss Antonio Conte.

Lukaku was off to a fast start, netting 11 times in his first 10 games.

However, the 24-year-old finds himself in the midst of a barren spell stretching back six games to the end of September.

Lukaku Photo: Oli SCARFF / AFP

United fans have grown frustrated by Lukaku’s lack of contributions outside the penalty area, prompting Mourinho to chastise Old Trafford crowd for failing to give the striker enough support in last weekend’s win over Tottenham.

Lukaku responded to the doubters by admitting he is still a work in progress.

“You can’t judge me as the finished article. I’d rather have a career where year after year I improve rather than going to the top and decline,” he said.

“I know I have a lot of talent, but I want to have more assists, I want to make sure when my team is in difficulties they can count on me.”

After missing out on Lukaku, Conte settled for Morata as an expensive consolation prize.

Morata hit the ground running with seven goals in his first seven games following his club record £58 million ($75 million) move from Real Madrid.

But, like Lukaku, the 25-year-old Spaniard has failed to score in his last six games, earning criticism for some lethargic displays.

Morata also had to claim he had been misquoted after an interview in which he appeared to hint he wouldn’t stay with Chelsea for long because he doesn’t enjoy London’s hectic lifestyle.

– High Stakes –

In the circumstances, Morata and Lukaku could do with silencing the critics by producing a priceless winner at the Bridge.

Both players carried hefty price tags because of the belief they were ready to deliver when the stakes are highest.

That will be the case in west London this weekend as champions Chelsea try to claw their way back into the title race.

Fourth-placed Chelsea are four points behind second-placed United and nine points adrift of table-toppers City.

Conte’s side crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday, erasing the momentum from successive league wins over Watford and Bournemouth.

United are five points behind City after winning only one of their last three league games, although they made it three successive wins in all competitions by beating Benfica in midweek.

Mourinho will be hoping for better luck on his latest return to Chelsea — the club where he won three English titles and was sacked twice — after United lost both their visits last season.

Abused by Chelsea fans during United’s 4-0 and 1-0 defeats, Mourinho insists he doesn’t attach special significance to the fixture.

“It isn’t a big thing. It’s normal, it’s football. One day you are in one club, the next day you’re in another club,” he said.

Conte, who will give N’Golo Kante a late fitness test on his hamstring injury, admits Chelsea no longer have any margin for error if they are to overhaul United and City.

“Now there is a big problem for all the teams that want to fight for the title and this big problem is Manchester City,” Conte said.

“If they continue in this way it will be very difficult to fight for the title.”

AFP

Leading English Premier League Scorers

Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane celebrates after scoring    Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP

Here are the leading English Premier League scorers after Sunday’s matches:

8: Kane (Tottenham)

7: Agüero (Man City), Lukaku (Man Utd)

6: Álvaro Morata (Chelsea), Gabriel Jesus (Man City), Sterling (Man City)

5: Salah (Liverpool), Sané (Man City), Vardy (Leicester), Lacazette (Arsenal)

4: Abraham (Swansea), Doucoure (Watford), Okazaki (Leicester), Rooney (Everton)

3: Alli (Tottenham), Biram Diouf (Stoke), Chicharito Hernandez (West Ham), Eriksen (Tottenham), Fellaini (Man Utd), Gabbiadini (Southampton), Mané (Liverpool), Martial (Manr Utd), Rashford (Man Utd), Richarlison (Watford), Welbeck (Arsenal), Woods (Burnley), Niasse (Everton)

 

AFP

Chelsea Manager Conte Hopeful Over Morata Injury

Chelsea’s head coach Antonio Conte (R) looks on as striker Alvaro Morata leaves the pitch injured during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London on September 30, 2017. Ian KINGTON / AFP

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte expressed optimism about the extent of the injury that curtailed striker Alvaro Morata’s involvement in Saturday’s 1-0 loss at home to Manchester City.

Morata was substituted in the 35th minute of the game at Stamford Bridge and appeared to gesture to his left hamstring as he left the pitch.

Conte hopes Morata’s early exit spared him from a more serious injury, although he said the 24-year-old was unlikely to be able to join up with the Spain squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Albania and Israel.

Conte.  Ian KINGTON / AFP

“It’s a muscular problem. I don’t think it’s a serious problem,” Conte told his post-match press conference.

“Because it stopped before becoming a serious injury. He said to me: ‘Coach, I prefer to stop myself otherwise I risk a bad injury.’

“The doctor in the next days has to check the situation. I don’t think he’s available for the national team.”

Morata has scored seven goals in eight games for Chelsea since signing from Real Madrid during the close season.

Kevin De Bruyne’s second-half goal earned City a 1-0 win that took them back to the top of the table, above Manchester United on goal difference, and left Chelsea six points off the pace in fourth place.

AFP

Morata Tells Chelsea Fans To Stop Anti-Semitic Chant

Chelsea’s Spanish striker Alvaro Morata attends team training session at Chelsea’s Cobham training facility in Stoke D’Abernon, southwest of London, on September 11, 2017, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group C football match FQ Qarabag.
Adrian DENNIS / AFP

Alvaro Morata wants Chelsea fans to call a halt to chanting a song in his honour which includes anti-Semitic language.

The 24-year-old Spanish international striker — hoping to add to his three goals against Arsenal on Sunday — told the Daily Mail it did not set a good example to young children attending matches.

Chelsea have said they will take the “strongest possible action” against any of their supporters who used the anti-Semitic language which attracted attention in the 2-1 win at Leicester last Saturday.

The song describes supporters of rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who have traditional links to the Jewish community, as “Yids”.

“It’s clearly a sensitive issue,” said Morata in what was his first interview with an English newspaper since signing from Real Madrid for a reported 80 million euros ($92.2 million).

“There are many ways to enjoy yourself at a game and to cheer on your team or your favourite players.

“But I am clear. I am against any songs that will offend people on the basis of religion or race. We need to cut it out.

“Football is only a sport, let’s use it as a positive vehicle.

“It’s not just that but kids who follow us and who want to be like us one day and we need to set the best example to them in the stands.

“By all means, cheer me on, sing my name, sing songs about Chelsea but let’s avoid this chant. The fans have been extremely welcoming to me and hopefully we can move forwards together now.”

Chelsea’s Morata Is A Complete Striker – Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti, Phillip Lahm
Bayern Munich Manager, Carlo Ancelotti

As Bayern Munich prepared on Monday for their friendly match against Chelsea, the Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti was asked to assess Chelsea’s new signing Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid.

Ancelotti is well placed to comment as he coached Morata when they were both in Madrid. The Italian described the young Spaniard as “a fantastic striker” who could compete in a variety of positions.

“Al Morata is a fantastic striker, young. I think Chelsea have a really good signing because he is a player who can really help, help the team to be better. He is a complete striker, he can play in different positions.

Morata

“In my time at Real Madrid he played central striker sometimes, sometimes he played on side, in all positions with efficiency. He is a really good striker because – the type that works for the team a lot also.” Ancelotti said during a press conference.

Read Also: Chelsea Sign Morata In Club-Record Deal

Also able to comment is James Rodriguez who has just joined Bayern from Real Madrid where he was able to watch Morata. “He scores goals because that is what he knows how to do,” was Rodriguez’s assessment.

Bayern Munich will play Chelsea in Singapore on Tuesday in their friendly match as part of the International Champions Cup tournament.

Bayern suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss to AC Milan in a Shenzhen friendly on Saturday and will be looking for a better result in Singapore.

Reporters wanted to know if Arturo Vidal was for sale, after rumours that Manchester United might be interested.

Ancelotti said: “Vidal, Vidal, there is no way – Vidal is our player. I have a lot of confidence. I know there are rumours, but he is used to have rumours in this period and Vidal will stay with us 100 percent.”

Asked about Renato Sanches being offered on loan to another team, Ancelotti said Sanches was training with the team at present with the possible options of staying with Bayern or going to another team to be discussed.

“The market stops the 31st of August and in this moment Renato is training with us, and I think we have time together to reach a decision together. There can be a possibility but also can be a possibility that he stays with us and helps us during the season.”

Chelsea Sign Morata In Club-Record Deal

Chelsea have completed the signing of Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, two days after announcing that an agreement had been reached with the La Liga Champions for his transfer.

The Spanish striker, who returned to Real Madrid last season after spending two seasons at Juventus, joins Chelsea on a five-year deal, the Premier League Champions said in a statement on Friday.

“I am so happy to be here. It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club. I am looking to work hard, score as many goals as I can and to win as many trophies as possible,” said Morata, who will proceed to join up with the squad on its pre-season tour of Asia.

The Blues expect the forward who scored 20 goals last season as Real claimed the La Liga and Champions League trophies to make a big impact and lead their attack after showing Diego Costa the door.

“We are delighted to complete Alvaro’s signing and welcome him to the club. We believe he can make a great impact for Chelsea and look forward to seeing him in action,” Chelsea Technical Director Michael Emenalo said.

“Alvaro has proven class at the highest level and his quality will be a huge asset to Antonio and the squad.”

The deal, believed to be worth between £65m and £70m, surpassed the previous club record of £50m paid for Spaniard Fernando Torres in 2011.

It also makes Morata the most expensive Spanish striker in history.

The 24-year-old striker has been the subject of interest from Manchester United, AC Milan and Chelsea.

Morata had indicated interest to leave Real after becoming fed up with playing a bit-part role in the team.

Despite indicating an interest to team up with Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte,  United had initially taken the lead in the race to sign him.

United Manager, Jose Mourinho, who handed him his first team debut at Real Madrid, had been eager to take him to Old Trafford, but the club baulked at Real’s €80m price tag and signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton instead.

Chelsea Agree Terms With Real Madrid For Morata

Real Madrid and Chelsea have reached an agreement for the transfer of striker Alvaro Morata.

Chelsea confirmed that both sides had reached an agreement on Tuesday evening, noting, however, that personal terms have yet to be agreed with the player.

“The move is now subject to him agreeing personal terms and passing a medical,” Chelsea said in a statement.

The 24-year-old striker has been the subject of interest from Manchester United, AC Milan and Chelsea.

Morata had indicated interest to leave Real after becoming fed up with playing a bit-part role in the team.

Despite indicating an interest to team up with Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, who took him to Juventus, United had initially taken the lead in the race to sign him.

United Manager, Jose Mourinho, who handed him his first team debut at Real Madrid, had been eager to take him to Old Trafford, but the club baulked at Real’s €80m asking price and signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton instead.

With the agreement, the Spanish international is expected to leave Real Madrid’s pre-season training camp in Los Angeles to finalise his move to the Premier League.

Should Chelsea pay €80m, or a sum close to that, the striker who played a significant role as Real won La Liga and the Champions League last season, will become the most expensive Spanish striker ever.

According to the British Media, Chelsea would pay around 70 million pounds for him.

Morata, who returned to Real last year after a spell at Juventus, scored 20 goals for the season, one more than preferred striker Karim Benzema, and despite spending much of the season as a substitute.

Reports in Spain suggest that the move would pave the way for Real Madrid to press on with their pursuit of Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe.

Real manager, Zinedine Zidane is believed to be a huge fan of the young French forward, who recently expressed doubts about his future with the Ligue 1 champions.