Arsenal Transfer News: Alvaro Morata Twist as Real Madrid Rule out Juventus

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2014

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - APRIL 05: Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring during the La Liga match between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Anoeta on April 5, 2014 in San Sebastian, Spain.  (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has revealed there is "zero" chance of Alvaro Morata joining Juventus this summer, but admitted he needs to find the "best solution" for both the player and club, suggesting Arsenal still have an outside shot on landing the young forward.

Perez spoke to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, reported by Sky Sports:

I am friends with the Juventus executives and president Andrea Agnelli. But I have not spoken to them regarding Morata and, honestly, the possibilities that he goes to play in Turin are zero. 

I will meet the player and we will try to find the best solution for him and for the club.

Morata made just four starts across La Liga and the Champions League during the 2013-14 campaign, per WhoScored.com. He emerged from the bench 24 times and netted a total of nine goals across his limited time on the pitch—but failed to put himself in contention for a spot at the World Cup—which would have been an outside shot even if he was afforded decent minutes.

He was expected to move to Juventus after talks were initially revealed. Ernesto Bronzetti, who works alongside Perez, spoke to Tuttosport, via Alvaro Olmedo of Marca:

The process is underway, but I am expecting the negotiations to take some time. Morata won't leave Real until they have secured a replacement.

The talks are being conducted according to the Carvajal model: Real Madrid would be able to bring him [Morata] back after a year.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - MAY 14:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal in action during a training session ahead of the FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Hull City at London Colney on May 14, 2014 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal have been linked with Morata since December, per Simon Yeend of Express, but Arsene Wenger's decision not to sign an alternative to Olivier Giroud has seen Yaya Sanogo come into the team instead. Although Sanogo has shown flashes of quality, he remains raw and is a long way from starting regularly at the Emirates.

It's unlikely Morata is going to break into Madrid's starting XI any time soon, not with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and—most vitally—Karim Benzema at the club. While Benzema has also been linked with a move to Arsenal, per Chris Waugh of the Daily Mail, his transfer appears unlikely.

J. L. Calderon of Marca recently indicated Carlo Ancelotti sees the French forward "as an essential element in consolidating his project" that has already resulted in La Decima. Morata is the most likely forward to leave, especially if Madrid pursue Liverpool's Luis Suarez, as noted in Calderon's article.

It seems Morata wishes to remain at the Bernabeu. During initial links to Arsenal, he was quoted as saying, per BBC Sport: "I want to be here for a long time." Morata recently tweeted a photo of himself in Madrid's new pink shirt, suggesting he isn't looking to move on:

Arsenal have also been linked with Gareth Barry but look set to pass on the player who is likely to make his switch to Everton permanent, reported by Chris Richards of the Mirror. Tancredi Palmeri of beINsports indicates the Gunners may need a full wad of cash if they are to secure Morata's signing, suggesting a move for Barry would be unwise:

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - MAY 14:  Arsene Wenger of Arsenal looks on during a training session ahead of the FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Hull City at London Colney on May 14, 2014 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Wenger's acquisitions throughout the summer will play a big role in sustaining Arsenal's recent success. The FA Cup win was vital to the North London club's progress—and indeed the manager's future—meaning both can now move forward in tandem. A failure to land new talent, a repeat of January, is unlikely to yield much success.

Morata would be a smart signing, but only if his price is right.

It's unlikely he would oust Giroud away from the first team immediately, and even more improbable, Wenger would add a second striker to fit the Spaniard in. Right now, it seems best for both Morata and Arsenal to look elsewhere when considering the future.