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Arsenal Transfer News: Alvaro Morata Pursuit Ended Amid Latest Chelsea Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2016

Spain's forward Alvaro Morata holds his head following a clash with Croatia's defender Vedran Corluka during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Croatia and Spain at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux on June 21, 2016. / AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU        (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/Getty Images

Arsenal have reportedly pulled out of the race to sign Spanish striker Alvaro Morata because Real Madrid's £60 million asking price is too high. 

Real confirmed on Tuesday they will re-sign Morata, 23, from Juventus, but it "seems certain" they will now sell him on again, and Arsenal have baulked at Los Blancos' £60 million asking price and ended their pursuit, according to John Cross in the Mirror.

Cross added that Arsenal being "scared off" could now leave Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea in a head-to-head to sign the forward.

Chelsea are "currently favourites" to land Morata, while United boss Jose Mourinho is "also an admirer," having given the Spaniard his first-team debut at Real, but the Red Devils are not prepared to bid beyond £50 million.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24:  Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal looks on as Olivier Giroud of Arsenal is substituted for Gabriel Paulista during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on January 24, 2016 in Lond
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal are in desperate need of a new top-level striker, but it seems they are not ready to gamble £60 million on Morata.

While the Spain international is one of the top young forwards in Europe, the Gunners could have been put off by his relatively low goal return—only 15 in 63 Serie A appearances during his two seasons at Juve, per WhoScored.com.

Arsenal's current No. 1 striker, Olivier Giroud, also struggles to score consistently, and manager Arsene Wenger is likely only prepared to spend big on a forward who will all but guarantee at least 20 goals in a Premier League season.

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However, Morata has proved that he is a man for the biggest of occasions. In Juve's run to the UEFA Champions League final in 2014-15 he scored five times, per Squawka Dave:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Morata scored 5 goals in the Champions League knockout stages last season. Only Neymar managed more (7). #MUFC https://t.co/lfJdDH4bJp

He impressed in the Champions League again last term—especially against Bayern Munich in the last 16—while he has already netted three times in three matches for Spain at Euro 2016.

Arsenal need a front man who can step up against the best opponents, and Morata has proved he can do just that, while his excellent link-up play could likely have seen him thrive at the Emirates Stadium alongside Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

Morata should also become more prolific as he gains further experience and hones his finishing touch.

Arsenal may regret pulling out of the race to sign Morata, especially if he goes on to help either United or Chelsea win the Premier League title.

But it is unsurprising that the famously frugal Wenger is not prepared to smash Arsenal's transfer record—currently the £42.4 million they paid Real for Ozil in 2013—to sign a largely unproven Morata for £60 million.

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