Chelsea Lead Race for Real Madrid Striker Alvaro Morata as AC Milan Shift Focus

Thursday July 20th, 2017

​Chelsea are ahead in the race to sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

The Spain international has been heavily linked with a move away from the Bernabeu after struggling to cement a regular first-team spot under manager Zinedine Zidane, often featuring from the substitutes bench.

MALAGA, SPAIN - MAY 21: (L-R) Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid, Daniel Carvajal and Nacho Fernandez of Real Madrid celebrate being crowned champions following the La Liga match between Malaga and Real Madrid at La Rosaleda Stadium on May 21, 2017 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)
Aitor Alcalde/GettyImages

However, Morata still managed 15 goals and four assists in 26 league appearances last season as Los Blancos won La Liga and the Champions League, with Karim Benzema often starting up front for the club.

Chelsea, who need a striker after Diego Costa revealed he would be leaving having being told he is not in Antonio Conte's plans, are now thought to be ahead of their transfer rivals in the pursuit of Morata, with ​Gianluca Di Marzio claiming AC Milan are now opting for other targets. 

Instead of pursuing Morata, Milan are now weighing up deals for Torino striker Andrea Belotti, Fiorentina ace Nikola Kalinic and Borussia Dortmund speedster Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. 

GRANADA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring the second goal during the La Liga match between Granada CF v Real Madrid CF at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on May 6, 2017 in Granada, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)
Aitor Alcalde/GettyImages

Torino are still demanding a hefty sum for their star man, with Milan so far not eager to stump up the €100 the Serie A club are holding out for, and the report claims Kalinic is therefore the most likely signing due to the reduced asking price. 

The deal for Aubameyang is reportedly dead for the time being, with the Gabon international also being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. 

Any potential Milan signing would provide competition for current first choice forward Carlos Bacca, who managed 13 goals and three assists in 32 Serie A appearances last season. 

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