In Brief

Chelsea finally land striker Alvaro Morata - but what's the fee?

The Real Madrid star will arrive in London this week after a turbulent month in the transfer market for the Blues

Chelsea's summer-long search for a striker is over after they agreed a deal to sign Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid.

The 24-year-old is due in London today to thrash out personal terms with the Premier League champions and have a medical.

Everyone is in agreement that Morata is on his way, although there seems to be some confusion about the size of the fee.

The Sun says Morata will cost Chelsea £68m while the Daily Star reports it is closer to £75m. The Guardian, by contrast, claims the initial fee will be £58m and that Morata will earn £150,000 a week on a five-year contract.

Either way, it is a record transfer fee for Chelsea and the deal makes Morata the most expensive Spanish player in history, surpassing the £50m Blues paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres in 2011.

Morata is in the United States with Real Madrid and must travel to England for a medical.

The transfer caps a remarkable month in the transfer market. It wasn't so long ago that Chelsea were preparing to sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton and Man United were close to capturing Morata, but Jose Mourinho's swoop for the Belgian striker shook up the deals and instead the Blues will bring Morata to Stamford Bridge to replace Diego Costa (who is expected to return to Atletico Madrid), having also missed out in recent weeks on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andrea Belotti and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero.

The Daily Express, citing Spanish newspaper Marca as its source, carries some quotes from Morata ahead of his move to England. He said: "I am very happy, God willing, tomorrow I will be at Chelsea, a club that has always loved me.

"I'm not disappointed (to leave Madrid). I've won four titles here but now I only think of putting on the Chelsea shirt. I'm going to the team managed by the coach who has placed the most faith in me and that's great for me."

Despite mainly being used off the bench as an understudy to Karim Benzema, Morata scored 23 goals for Real Madrid last season, including 15 in La Liga.

He had a two-year loan spell at Juventus, has been capped 21 times by Spain and was included in their most recent squad for games against Colombia and Macedonia in June. He also scored three times at Euro 2016.

Morata will become Chelsea's fourth summer signing after Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Willy Caballero.

Chelsea hope to win race for Alvaro Morata with £71m bid

12 July

Having lost out to Manchester United in their pursuit of Romelu Lukaku Chelsea now face what Caughtoffside describes as "another transfer battle", this time for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

United were themselves strongly linked with the Spanish sharpshooter earlier in the summer, before their audacious swoop for Lukaku, and the silver lining for Chelsea is that they now have fewer rivals in the race to sign Morata.

According to the Daily Star, a £71m bid is "imminent" and Real are ready to sell a player who never managed to nail down a regular spot in last season's starting XI.

The only fly in the ointment is an Italian one with reports suggesting that AC Milan are also determined to land Morata. He's well known in Serie A circles, having spent a season with Juventus in 2015, and AC Milan have him top of their summer shopping list. It's not known what their likely bid will be but according to Spanish outlet Don Balon they intend to rival Chelsea every step of the way.

But there is better news for the Blues in Metro, which claims that Chelsea are "on alert" after learning that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is edging ever closer to an Arsenal exit.

The Gunners winger is stalling over signing a new deal, allegedly because he wants assurance he'll be a regular starter next season. With no such guarantees forthcoming, says Metro, talks to extend the deal that expires next year have "broken down", and Chelsea and Liverpool are poised to swoop.

It's believed the Ox would prefer to stay in London and with Blues boss Antonio Conte keen to sign more English players the smart money is on the England winger making the move across the capital to Stamford Bridge.

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