Arsenal Transfer News: Alvaro Morata Boost, Latest Zlatan Ibrahimovic Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 21, 2016

Juventus' Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Torino and Juventus at Turin's Olympic stadium, Sunday, March 20, 2016. Juventus won 4-1. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Alessandro Di Marco/Associated Press

Arsenal have received encouraging news in their pursuit of Alvaro Morata after he revealed he doesn't want a Real Madrid return unless he's guaranteed to start at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, the Gunners could miss out on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who might be set for a return to Milan.

Juventus striker Morata has impressed since moving to Turin in 2014, and Real are understood to want their academy graduate back, but Italian daily Tuttosport reported he won't budge unless he's guaranteed to start (h/t Football Italia).

Morata left Real Madrid for €20 million in 2014.
Morata left Real Madrid for €20 million in 2014.MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Los Blancos have a buy-back option on the Spain striker that allows them first option on his signature this summer and in 2017, alleged to currently stand at €30 million (£23.5 million) based on goals and appearances.

However, the Gunners are starting to squeeze the best out of their own 2014 recruit, Danny Welbeck, after he scored in Saturday's 2-0 win over Everton—his second goal in as many league games.

Squawka's Jake Gallagher attested to the Englishman being a superior option to Olivier Giroud:

Giroud started this season on the bench for the Gunners as Theo Walcott was preferred up front during Welbeck's injury absence, and the Frenchman's place in manager Arsene Wenger's plans remains up for debate.

Meanwhile, the Bernabeu seems very open to Morata, 23, making his return to Madrid after a poll in Spanish newspaper AS revealed the majority of fans wanted their former disciple back:

However, Morata would have to beat Karim Benzema to a place in the Real team if his intention is to start under boss Zinedine Zidane, who is unlikely to sell his French compatriot following his recent return from injury.

Football Italia added there's a possibility Real could buy Morata back with the intent of selling the player on for a profit, but a great deal of the decision will lie with the player in choosing whether he wants to leave Juve.

Alvaro Morata vs. Arsenal Goalscorers 2015-16 (League Only)
PlayerGoalsAppearancesGoal/Game Ratio
Alvaro Morata6280.21
Olivier Giroud12300.4
Alexis Sanchez7220.32
Mesut Ozil5280.18
Aaron Ramsey5250.20
Theo Walcott4220.18
Danny Welbeck350.60

Another striker the Gunners will be hard-pressed to land this summer is Ibrahimovic, who looks set to leave Paris Saint-Germain when his contract in the French capital expires at the end of this season.

Former Milan sporting director Ariedo Braida recently told Italian broadcaster Mediaset Premium the PSG frontman could make his return to the San Siro four years after leaving for Paris (h/t Daily Star's Chisanga Malata): "Ibrahimovic very much loves the city of Milan. In my opinion, he could also decide to return to wear the Rossoneri shirt."

Ibrahimovic scored 56 goals in 85 appearance for Milan between 2010 and 2012.
Ibrahimovic scored 56 goals in 85 appearance for Milan between 2010 and 2012.Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Braida's prediction should of course be taken with a pinch of salt, but Ibrahimovic was himself quoted by Italian daily Corriere dello Sport in March admitting his "family will decide" his future (h/t Football Italia).

At 34 years of age, Ibrahimovic falls far outside Wenger's usual profile for investments, but there's no arguing with a record of 141 goals in 169 goals for PSG and winning four successive Ligue 1 titles, the kind of winning DNA Arsenal could do with in attack.