Atletico Madrid are prepared to offload Alvaro Morata as they look to make room for the arrival of Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, Gazzetta dello Sport claim (today’s edition, page 3).
Ronaldo’s future has been a regular topic of speculation over the past few weeks amid his desire to leave the club. The Portuguese is eager to play Champions League football for a 20th straight campaign.
In recent days, Atletico have emerged as a surprise destination for him, but Gazzetta report that the Spanish club need to recoup funds from player sales first before they can afford to sign Ronaldo.
Morata, who was on loan at Juventus for two seasons, is one of the players that could make way. Atletico seem prepared to reduce their asking price for the Spain international this summer.
The Bianconeri had the option to buy him for €35 million, but were only prepared to offer €15m. It is now revealed that they could up their proposal to €20m. Atletico would ideally accept €25m.
Gazzetta claim that there is a ‘room for a serious and quick negotiation’ between the two. Atletico need liquidity to achieve their summer transfer objectives set by manager Diego Simeone.
Nahuel Molina is on the verge of joining from Udinese, but it is claimed that Simeone would want something more and from Manchester in Ronaldo. A deal is ‘complicated’ but ‘not impossible’.
Atletico could offer Champions League lifeline to Ronaldo
United manager Erik ten Hag recently said that Ronaldo is only absent due to personal reasons, and the club consider him as a key part of their plans for the new campaign.
However, doubts will start creeping over his future with the club if he does not report for pre-season training next week. United are due to conclude their Australia tour against Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Red Devils continue to remain firm on keeping him, but it may not come to the point where they could force him to stay. If the right offer arrives, the £27 million-rated star is more or less likely to leave.
It will be interesting to see whether they have a contingency plan if he departs. Rather than a new striker, United appear to be focusing on pursuing a more versatile forward this summer.
The Red Devils have been fancied to make a late attempt to sign winger Antony from Ajax. However, it has been reported that the move could be made regardless of whether Ronaldo stays or not.
Judging by pre-season, Anthony Martial has been flying up front under Ten Hag, and could have the chance to redeem himself as the main striker. Marcus Rashford could likewise lead the line.
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