The striker and the coach ended badly two years ago, but they are condemned to understand each other unless Arsenal bets on the ‘9’ of Spain or Juventus raises its offer
Despite having qualified for the Champions League for the tenth consecutive year, an achievement that guarantees a certain economic stability, the notorious reinforcements at Atlético are long in coming. At the moment, he has only closed the hiring of Samuel Lino, after paying 6.5 million to Gil Vicente for this young Brazilian winger who may end up on loan at Sporting de Portugal, and Argentine Gustavo López to reinforce his friend’s coaching staff the cholo. Landing is approaching Axel Witsel, a veteran Belgian midfielder who ends his contract with Dortmund at the age of 33 after passing through China and Russia, but the best is at the expense of what happens with Álvaro Morata.
The striker from Madrid, currently one of Luis Enrique’s regulars for the Qatar World Cup, is experiencing another summer of uncertainty. The term that Juventus had to buy him ended without the transalpines offering more than players to Atlético to keep him. There was talk of Kean, Rabiot and Zakaria and perhaps a cap of 15 million, but far from the 35 stipulated in the transfer agreement with the option to buy. From Turin they want the striker, author this course of 12 goals and nine assists and very much to the liking of Massimiliano Allegri despite the signing of the Serbian Vlahovic, but the ‘Vecchia Signora’ has already spent 20 million in two years with Morata and plays his tricks .
Although in recent days it was taken for granted that Morata would rejoin the Atlético discipline on July 1 and would be a sure substitute for Luis Suárez, the reality is that Simeone urges the sports management to look for a destination for him. Morata is a top-level ‘9’, tied with Emilio Butragueño as the team’s seventh top scorer with 26 goals in 56 games, and in his only full season as a rojblanco he scored 22 goals, more than any of the rojiblancos forwards in the recent season. He has a great aerial game, he is fast on the counterattack and he plays well with his back, three key conditions to be able to succeed with Simeone.
However, to reunite their destinies they would have to resolve their differences. Morata left Atlético in 2020 after a tough confrontation with his coach as a result of his substitution against Leipzig in the Champions League quarterfinals. Even in a lousy moment of form, Diego Costa was ahead of Morata in Simeone’s preferences, convinced that the man from Madrid lacks character, leadership and consistency.
From the highest levels of the club they understand that the reconciliation between the coach and the striker is feasible, as has already happened in previous cases with Diego Costa and Filipe Luis after their returns from Chelsea and will now happen with Saúl Ñíguez after being residual at Stamford Bridge. With Griezmann it was different, since it was precisely his excellent relationship with Simeone that facilitated his return after not succeeding at Barça.
The situation with Morata is not the same as it was two years ago. Diego Costa is no longer there, Suárez is no longer there and Cholo knows that if he is given confidence, Morata usually returns it with goals. The man from Madrid has good friends and references in the locker room, especially Koke and Marcos Llorente, and at first he was clear that it was Juventus or Atlético. But today Morata would be the fourth striker for Cholo and that is a problem for the footballer, with the Qatar World Cup three months away from the start of the League.
If they are not injured, the attacking couple would be Griezmann and Joao Félix, although neither responds to the profile of a classic striker, and behind them the Argentine coach wants to give more flight to the Brazilian Cunha, author of six goals and six assists in the 1,050 minutes he played last year in his revulsive role.
Arteta loves him
With Morata’s future in the air, the thriving Premier League appears as a possible escape route. According to ‘The Mirror’, Arsenal is very interested in the Spanish striker and could reach that amount of 35 million that Atlético is asking for. As the market is, the coach from San Sebastian Mikel Arteta understands that Morata could be that ‘9’ of reference as an alternative to Alexander Lacazette in the ‘gunners’.
Strengthening the attack is a priority for the Emirates club, which also has Brazilian Gabriel Jesus and British Tammy Abraham on its agenda. But for them, Guardiola’s City and Roma are asking for around 50 million. If Morata definitely leaves the Metropolitan, Raúl de Tomás appears on the horizon.