Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has refused to be drawn on the speculation linking the club with Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, preferring instead to preserve what he described as a “very important” secret.
Chelsea have already completed the high profile signings of Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante this summer and are believed to have had at least one sizeable bid for Morata rejected by Real. But quizzed on the subject after a 3-0 pre-season win over RZ Pellets, Conte made it clear he wasn’t prepared to openly reveal any gossip.
“About this situation I always prefer to speak with the club. We know our targets and the most important thing is there is a great synergy between me and the club on the transfer market,” the Italian is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“It’s not important to speak outside, but to keep the secret is very important at this moment.”
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea have offered £50m and £62.7m for Morara, the latter a club record amount, shattering the previous high when Fernando Torres arrived from Liverpool in 2011.
It is said that the Stamford Bridge club also still retain an interest in Romelu Lukaku and see the Belgian as an alternative. Speculation regarding his future has died down in recent weeks with talk of a lucrative new contract at Everton in the pipelines, although he may well feel there is unfinished business for him to attend to at Chelsea after his departure in 2014.
Italian reporter Gianluca Di Marzio is credited with taking that further and describes “serious” business for the Belgian, with the suggestion that a €60m bid has been made.
With reference to the friendly win and looking forward to the upcoming 2016/17 campaign, Conte further explained, “I know we can improve – not that we can improve – I know we must improve. We will work very hard and I know these players have the attitude to do this.
“It’s important to win and to fight for our mentality despite many players being tired. I’m happy because I saw a good attitude and for me this is the most important thing.”
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