Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has ruled out the possibility of reuniting with former manager Jose Mourinho at Roma.
Only a year after leaving Juventus to return to the Metropolitano Stadium, the 30-year-old is heavily linked with re-embracing the riches of Serie A.
Roma had been at the forefront of speculation earlier in the summer before falling behind domestic rivals Inter Milan in the race to purchase the Spaniard.
Morata’s representatives provided a positive update after holding talks with the Nerazzurri chiefs a fortnight ago, inflicting a massive transfer blow on Roma.
If that wasn’t enough to deter the Giallorossi from maintaining their faltering pursuit of the ex-Real Madrid frontman, the player’s recent statement should clear their doubts.
In his recent interview as part of Atletico’s pre-season squad in Mexico, Morata rejected the prospect of joining Roma, insisting he’s keen to prove himself to Diego Simeone.
“I’m working, and I’m happy to be in Mexico with the team,” he said, as relayed by Calciomercato. “I want to improve. I’m doing it in this pre-season.
“I’m here to enjoy Mexico, to work with the team. At the moment, they’re [Roma] not an option – they’re not in my head.”
Morata’s rejection will change the landscape of Roma’s transfer window.
Inter’s ongoing quest to sign West Ham United’s Gianluca Scamacca could add insult to injury.
The former Sassuolo forward has been Jose Mourinho’s go-to option if his effort to lure Morata to the Stadio Olimpico fails to come to fruition.
Financial limitations have prevented Roma from pursuing a permanent deal for the Spanish star.
Their best hope of granting Mourinho’s wish was to bring Morata on loan with an option to buy, but Los Rojiblancos are only interested in an outright sale.
With Tammy Abraham on the sidelines with a nasty ACL injury, the Special One cannot afford to enter the 2023/24 season without a new centre-forward.
Santos youngster Marcos Leonardo is currently the most realistic candidate to fill the vacancy, though the Brazilians are not enthusiastic about losing their most prolific player.
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