Alvaro Morata Interest Ended by Manchester United After Romelu Lukaku Deal

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2017

Real Madrid's forward Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring a goal  during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs Club Deportivo Leganes SAD at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid  on November 6, 2016. / AFP / JAVIER SORIANO        (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester United have reportedly ended their interest in Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata having agreed a fee with Everton for Romelu Lukaku.

News broke on Thursday that the Toffees striker was poised to move to Old Trafford in a £75 million switch, per Sky Sports News HQ:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

BREAKING: Sky sources: @ManUtd have agreed a £75m fee with @Everton to sign striker Romelu Lukaku. #SSNHQ #MUFC #EFC https://t.co/y6AOejf6bU

As a result, according to BBC Sport's Simon Stone, the Red Devils will not be pursuing a deal for Morata. Jose Felix Diaz of Marca had reported on Wednesday the Spain striker was just "one step" from a move to Old Trafford.

The decision to end their pursuit of Morata comes as a big surprise, with the Red Devils linked with the Madrid man for much of the summer.

According to Rob Dawson of ESPN FC, United have been working on a deal for Lukaku and have grown frustrated with Madrid's stance on Morata:

Rob Dawson @RobDawsonESPN

Seems Real Madrid thought Morata was Mourinho's only realistic option. Didn't budge on fee. United quietly working on Lukaku. Well played.

Indeed, it was reported by Diaz that United remained short of Madrid's valuation of the 24-year-old. Los Blancos are said to have been holding out for €80 million (£70 million) for the striker, with the Red Devils only offering €75 million (£65 million).

While many outlets have suggested the Premier League side have agreed a fee with Everton for their goal-getter, according to Neil Jones of the Liverpool Echo, the Toffees have said that's not the case, with Chelsea still noted as possible suitors for the striker. 

Jim White of TalkSport and Sky Sports News HQ backed up the assessment:

Jim White @JimWhite

Sources tell me "no deal reached" between @everton and @ManUtd for Romelu Lukaku. Reports of £75m fee agreement "incorrect."

It means there may well yet be a twist in this transfer saga, although it looks increasingly likely Morata will not be heading to Old Trafford.

Given how long the Red Devils are reported to have been interested in the striker, that'll be a blow. After all, Morata seemed set to be joining one of the biggest clubs in the world to play a starring role at the point of the attack.

At Madrid, while he won La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, he was a peripheral figure, deputising for Karim Benzema and starting in the less significant games.

However, James Robson of the Manchester Evening News suggested Morata may have other suitors:

James Robson @JamesRobsonMEN

Wouldn't be remotely surprised to see Morata at Chelsea next season. Conte wanted him last summer - he wants to play for Conte. Path clear

It wouldn't be a surprise. Morata may not have the star quality needed to start for Madrid every week, but he's a brilliant striker, an improving goalscorer and a player with the pedigree needed to start for a lot of clubs in Europe.

As things stand, that looks unlikely to be United, with Lukaku now said to be their top target. It's going to be fascinating to see where this leaves Morata.


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