Manchester United Transfer News: Alvaro Morata, Aymeric Laporte, Latest Rumours

Stuart Newman@@StuNewmanSportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2016

Juventus Alvaro Morata celebrates after he scored during the Champions League group D soccer match between Juventus and FC Sevilla, at the Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

Manchester United are reportedly plotting a sensational summer swoop for Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, although it’s the Spaniard’s former club Real Madrid they’ll be paying for his services—per David Medina of Marca (via James Whaling of Daily Mirror).

La Liga's giants are planning to activate a €32 million buyback clause in Morata’s contract to take him away from Turin in the summer, and they’ll then look to sell him on for a healthy profit.

Medina wrote that Real Madrid will be hoping to pocket around €50 million for the striker’s services when the transfer window re-opens in June, with United and Liverpool the likely candidates to meet that requirement.

Paolo Lazzeroni/Associated Press

United are undoubtedly in the market for a goalscorer, having struggled to find the net this term, and Morata certainly fits the bill.

He was instrumental in Juventus’ run to last year’s Champions League final—not least in the semi-final at the Bernabeu.

However, the 2015/16 campaign hasn’t been quite as fruitful for Morata, as the emergence of Paulo Dybala has seen him endure regular time on the bench.

Still, it’s clear that Morata has plenty to offer at the highest level, and although he stuttered at the start of the season, four goals in his last three games—per Soccerway—represents a return to form.

€50 million is a lot of money to part with for a striker, but United would undoubtedly see a return on their investment.

Morata is just 23 years old and, alongside young sensation Anthony Martial, could hold down the club’s front line for seasons to come.

It’s up to whoever is in charge of United in the summer to meet Real Madrid’s valuation, and based on the Red Devils’ goal-shy attack this term, it looks a necessary expense.

Elsewhere, Manchester Evening News is reporting that United are set to make an approach for Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte in the not-too-distant future—via Whaling.

The 21-year-old has been one of the La Liga’s side’s standout performers this term, with solid style in the heart of defence drawing the attention of United’s powers-that-be.

Defensive reinforcements will be the top priority over the summer, and Laporte’s ball-playing, forward-thinking credentials make him an ideal candidate for a big-money bid.

Manchester United are enduring a roller-coaster season, with more ups and downs expected before we reach the summer.

Louis van Gaal’s men are undoubtedly looking more solid and exciting in recent weeks, yet they have to find some consistency if they want to reach the top four. Sunday’s clash with Chelsea represents a big test as to whether or not they’re cut out to reach the Champions League.