Markets suspended on Morata as Chelsea make their move

Alvaro Morata has emerged as Chelsea’s number one target and they have agreed a deal in principle with Real Madrid.

The Premier League champions have confirmed that a deal worth £70million – a club record for Chelsea – has been finalised.

Morata is currently in America with Real Madrid on their pre-season tour but is now set to cut that short, and is likely to head straight to China to link-up with Antonio Conte and his first-team.

Chelsea have been working on a new striker after missing out on Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, and after Diego Costa was told by boss Antonio Conte that he had no future at the club.

Conte gave the green-light to Chelsea’s bosses to pursue Morata, Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Torino’s Andrea Belotti, and now The Blues have gone ahead with a move for 24-year-old Morata.

Ironically, Morata is only available because United turned away from him to land Lukaku, and even this week Jose Mourinho confirmed his admiration of the player.

With news of the deal getting close, Bookmakers have been quick to suspend their markets.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Conte may have missed out on Lukaku, but he’s clearly keen to bring in an alternative with Diego Costa set for an exit. And the latest news from our trading floor suggests Morata will be spearheading Chelsea’s attack in the near future.”

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