Football

'Conte is one of the best coaches in the world'

Morata will join Chelsea for $124m, subject to him agreeing personal terms and passing a medical

Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata said that he is joining the "best club" and can't wait to work with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, whom he described as "one of the best coaches in the world".

Subject to him agreeing personal terms and passing a medical, the deal for the 24-year-old is expected to net Real a reported £70m (S$124m).

Asked why he picked Chelsea after he arrived in London for his medical yesterday, Morata told Sky Sports: "It is the best club. Antonio Conte is one of the best coaches in the world and I am so happy to work with him.

"Manchester United? I don't know about that. The most important thing is that I am playing for Chelsea. Finally, I am here. All that is left is for me to take the medical and everything will be okay.

"The Premier League is one of the best in the world and I am so happy to be here. I have spoken to (Chelsea defender) Cesar Azpilicueta who told me everything is okay."

Morata had previously been linked with a move to Manchester United, but their reported interest ended after the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

"Chelsea Football Club and Real Madrid have agreed terms for the transfer of Alvaro Morata to Stamford Bridge," Chelsea said on their club website.

"The move is now subject to him agreeing personal terms and passing a medical."

Real confirmed the news as well in a brief statement on their website.

"It is the best club. Antonio Conte is one of the best coaches in the world and I am so happy to work with him." Alvaro Morata on why he picked Chelsea

In pictures posted on their official website, Morata was seen bidding an emotional farewell to his former teammates.

Real exercised a buy-back clause to bring Morata back from Juventus a year ago, the striker having joined the Italian club in 2014 just days after Conte's exit in Turin.

He scored 20 goals in 43 appearances last season as Real retained their Champions League crown while edging Barcelona to the Spanish title.

Man United manager Jose Mourinho said he was unfazed by Chelsea's new capture, and instead said he was delighted with his own signing Lukaku.

Just weeks ago, it had appeared that Morata would be heading to Old Trafford, while Lukaku would return to Stamford Bridge three years after joining Everton.

Said Mourinho: "I am not interested in what Chelsea Football Club does, really.

"We needed a striker, yes... We got a big player (Lukaku) - a player that I can compare with what he was a few years ago because he worked with me a few months four or five years ago.

"His development was very, very good, so we think we have a player that is now a top player in Europe.

"He has to prove it at the highest level, there is always that point. Now he has to do it for Manchester United, in Champions League matches but I think he has amazing qualities.

"I think it was obvious Chelsea would sign a striker, especially after the situation with the manager and Diego (Costa).

"It was clear that they were going to get a striker, they did it with Alvaro and Alvaro is a very good player for them."

Morata's arrival in London could signal the end of his international teammate Costa's time at Chelsea, with the latter strongly tipped for a return to Atletico Madrid.

Costa was granted extra time off by the Blues and has missed the start of pre-season training after the 28-year-old revealed last month that he was not part of Conte's plans. - WIRE SERVICES

 

 

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