Chelsea Transfer News: AC Milan Reportedly Make Contact over Alvaro Morata

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2018

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21: Alvaro Morata of Chelsea during a Chelsea FC training session at The WACA on July 21, 2018 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)
Will Russell/Getty Images

Alvaro Morata is in the sights of AC Milan after the Serie A club reportedly contacted the Chelsea striker's representatives. Contact was made by Rossoneri general manager Leonardo, with the player said to be open to the idea, per Sky Italia's Gianluca Di Marzio (h/t Football Italia). 

Di Marzio also named Juventus No. 9 Gonzalo Higuain and Radamel Falcao of AS Monaco as targets for Leonardo. However, Morata "is keen to return to Italy and would accept the move, but the Blues would have to lower their €65-70m asking price," per Football Italia.

Milan's potential interest in Higuain could be significant since Chelsea have been heavily linked with the one-time Napoli striker. Sky in Italy (h/t Sky Sports) recently reported new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri had made an approach to Juve about the attacker he once worked with for Gli Azzurri.

MailOnline's Simon Jones also reported Chelsea and the Bianconeri have been waiting for Higuain's brother, Nicolas, to begin negotiations. Jones cited unnamed reports from Italy which said Blues owner Roman Abramovich has been in Italy to help facilitate a deal.

Higuain is reportedly a target for both Chelsea and Milan.
Higuain is reportedly a target for both Chelsea and Milan.Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

However, Tuttosport (h/t Jack Rathborn of the Daily Mirror) reported Juve may be open to swapping Higuain for former centre-back Leonardo Bonucci, who moved to Milan last summer. A possible swap sending Morata back to Juve and Higuain to Stamford Bridge has also been explored, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t BBC Sport).

How hard Chelsea choose to push for Higuain will depend on Morata's status. It makes sense for Sarri to want a striker he is familiar with, particularly after Morata endured an uneven debut season in the Premier League.

The Spaniard scored 15 goals in all competitions, but, after a hot start, endured a lengthy scoring drought during which he missed many one-on-one chances, with some finding humour from his profligacy:

CaughtOffside @caughtoffside

ON THIS DAY in 2017 Chelsea signed Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid for an initial fee of £58M 48 games 15 goals 6 assists 1437 sitters missed 1 goal in the second half of the season Didn't exactly go to plan for the Blues, did it? 😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/MOZENNgf1O

Sky Bet @SkyBet

🙈 How has Alvaro Morata missed that? #ARSvsCHE #CFC https://t.co/NSYJdIqfES

Higuain is more prolific, having helped himself to 23 goals in all competitions last season, yet another free-scoring campaign in a career littered with goals at the highest level:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Gonzalo Higuaín: Has scored more goals (76) than any other player since the start of the 2015/16 Serie A season For more player stats -- https://t.co/8XxXZAzNIM https://t.co/14Y3K9YF3h

The 30-year-old would offer greater composure in front of goal, as well as an underrated ability to lead the line and link with others. Sarri may appreciate the latter quality more since he insists his teams play a stylish and expansive game.

Attacks built via neat and intricate combinations of passes between gifted forwards in the final third. Higuain is a natural focal point for this way of playing.

Selling Morata to Milan would create a natural space for Higuain, with Juve possibly needing to sell to recoup some of the £99.2 million spent to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. Moving Morata on while landing Higuain would represent a win-win scenario for both the player and Chelsea.