The decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold Atlético Madrid’s transfer ban until January 2018 has caused a chain reaction that leaves Alvaro Morata as the prime candidate to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Manchester United.
Griezmann rejection has forced Mourinho's hand
Two weeks ago, it appeared likely that Antoine Griezmann would be a Manchester United player by the start of the 2017/18 Premier League season. The player himself frequently flirted with United in the media. Yet the transfer ban has encouraged the Frenchman to stay at Atlético for another year.
This has forced José Mourinho to search for alternatives in attack. With Ibrahimovic injured until January and awaiting a contract extension, United appear thin on attacking talent. Romelu Lukaka of Everton, and Andrea Belotti of Torino appeared to be Mourinho’s preferred options, but according to The Telegraph, Morata has become the centre of focus at Old Trafford.
Morata cheaper than Lukaku or Belotti
Madrid value Morata at around €70m, and he would thus be a cheaper option than Lukaku or Belotti. Even so, Manchester United will not find it easy to close the deal.
AC Milan have moved forward in negotiations with the player, with La Gazzetta dello Sport claiming that the club have already agreed a wage packet of €8m per year with the Spaniard.