Alvaro Morata has claimed he actually almost joined Chelsea a year ago, and that Cesar Azpilicueta even took it upon himself to house hunt for his pal.
The 24-year-old swapped Madrid for London this summer after the club missed out on prime target Romelu Lukaku, joining for a fee of around £60m.
Morata had long been linked with a switch to Manchester United, but a highly entertaining week in the transfer window saw the Red Devils swipe Lukaku instead, seemingly from under the noses of the Blues, who subsequently bought the Spaniard.
He might have joined a year earlier though, as he told the Mail: “Last summer it was close. Cesar Azpilicueta was a bit annoyed because he had already started house-hunting for me last summer. We’d even got estate agents on board. This time Cesar has sorted everything!
“When I spoke to Conte last summer, I said ‘If I’m going to leave Real Madrid, it will only be for Chelsea’. I remember I was with my wife after hearing him out conversation and I said ‘Chelsea are going to win the league this season.’ And that’s exactly what happened. Now we need to repeat it!”
The move meant Morata has now turned his back on Real Madrid twice, and he is keen to be the main man consistenly for the first time in his career. The Spaniard has started off the new season in great form, scoring three goals and assisting twice in the Premier League.