LONDON - Manchester United have lodged a bid for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata as their aggressive transfer strategy begins to take hold.
Morata, 24, will cost upwards of £60 million and is seen as a replacement for the recently released Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Real hope to agree a fee of more than £70m and further talks are expected soon. Morata wants his future sorted within two weeks and United manager Jose Mourinho is keen for his club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to seal the deal.
It emerged yesterday that United have tabled an official offer for the Spain international, who is open to a Premier League move after his return to the Bernabeu stuttered. He rejoined from Juventus last summer but started just 19 games.
United’s pursuit of Morata has taken precedence over luring Torino’s Andrea Belotti as a successor to Ibrahimovic.
Despite limited starts, Morata scored 20 goals last season, 15 in the league. Real hope to recoup more than four times the £15.8m they paid Juventus for him last year.
Benfica centre back Victor Lindelof should become a United player this week for £30.7m, but Michael Keane’s return to Old Trafford now seems unlikely. The England defender wants regular football going into the 2018 World Cup.
While United remain interested in their former academy graduate, the 24-year-old Burnley defender is understood to have cooled on the move. He wants a club where he will play regularly and Everton are now favourites. Liverpool and Tottenham are also suitors.
The £25m-rated defender has a year left on his Burnley contract and has rejected offers to stay on improved terms.
United’s Belgian winger Adnan Januzaj, 22, is wanted by Real Sociedad. The club plan an £8.8m offer but United want a buy-back option and sell-on clause. Januzaj, on loan at Sunderland last season, has a year left on his United contract.