Alvaro Morata‘s agent has travelled to London on Wednesday to meet with Chelsea officials and discuss a potential January loan move away from Stamford Bridge, a source has told ESPN FC.
Sevilla sporting director Joaquin Caparros suggested that Morata was ready to snub other clubs to join them, however sources have told ESPN FC that the negotiations won’t be easy as Atletico Madrid have also joined the race.
Morata’s agent, Juanma Lopez, met Caparros at the beginning of the week to sound out any potential deal following the former Real Madrid forward’s difficult start to the campaign, in which he has scored nine goals in 24 matches — starting just 18 games.
Caparros confirmed Sevilla’s interest in Morata on Tuesday with an interview to the club’s TV channel, as he explained their desire to sign at least one forward in this window to complement Andre Silva and Wissam Ben Yedder.
Sevilla are third in La Liga but are also competing in the Europa League and Copa del Rey and manager Pablo Machin tends to play a 3-5-2 system with two forwards.
Morata would welcome a return to Spain as he looks to relaunch his career following a difficult last 18 months. Other European clubs are monitoring his situation but Chelsea will need to find a replacement to sanction a move away.
Despite confirming Sevilla’s interest in Morata, Caparros said negotiations would be difficult due to the total fee — including the player’s wages — while Chelsea would likely need to sign a replacement before allowing the Spaniard to leave.
“It is true that we have monitored Morata’s situation but it’s also true that it’s a very, very complex operation because of the cost of the transfer,” Caparros said.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone was asked specifically about signing Morata at the news conference after his team’s 1-1 Copa del Rey last 16 draw at Girona on Wednesday.
“I don’t talk about players who are not with us,” Simeone responded. “I speak about those we have here, and they are doing well and making me happy.”
Pressed on whether Atletico would do business in January, the Argentine coach suggested he would like the Atletico hierarchy to wheel and deal this month.
“I can neither confirm nor deny that,” Simeone said. “We coaches are waiting for what the club can resolve, players who need minutes on the pitch, some that the club needs to sell, others who could come in… The same as in all transfer windows. Until the 31st we will be waiting to see.”
Meanwhile, Machin is excited at the prospect of having Morata in his side.
“Big teams have big players — then the coach has to manage those players,” Machin said. “I say that the players themselves are the ones who put themselves in [the lineup] with their performances.
“Having Morata would be a good problem for me — or I’ll even take away the word problem. It would be a blessing for me. No one gets anything for free.
“At the time, they [Chelsea] paid a lot of money because he was worth it. Many teams want him because he’s worth it. Morata has excelled at Juventus, at Madrid and is producing good performances at Chelsea. The reality and numbers back this up.”
Machin also said his club’s pursuit of Morata shows the club are aiming high.
“We have to be aware of our expectations,” Machin said. “We are trying to approach players that very few clubs have access to.
“The objective of the club is clear: wanting to bring the best in. If due to finances it can’t go ahead, nobody can feel frustrated. If we can’t, we will lower the bar a bit. They [the club officials] will know how long we can wait before changing the target and if someone can help us as soon as possible.”
Reports in Seville claim that the player’s agents have informed Sevilla that the 26-year-old is prepared to reduce his wages in order to join them on loan.
Morata, who is tied to Chelsea until June 2022, reportedly earns €9 million net per season and is a target for teams in Italy and Germany. However, he is keen to sign for Sevilla, according to Caparros.
“It’s true that he [Morata] may want to move to Sevilla above other options but I reiterate that it’s a hugely difficult move because Chelsea is a difficult club to negotiate with,” Caparros said. “Negotiation is an art.
“We do have good and experienced negotiators at the club.”
ESPN FC’s Spain correspondent Adriana Garcia also contributed to this report