Premier League champions Chelsea have moved a step closer to bolstering their forward line after agreeing a club record fee with Real Madrid for Spain striker Alvaro Morata.
The 24-year-old is rated at around £70m, and while the size of the offer has not be revealed it is expected to eclipse the £50m Chelsea paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres in 2011.
Morata scored 20 goals for Real last season after rejoining Los Blancos from Juventus, although the majority of his appearances for Zinedine Zidane’s side were as a substitute.
Chelsea have been in the market for a striker since losing out to Manchester United and former manager Jose Mourinho on the capture of Romelu Lukaku. The 24-year-old joined the 20-time top-flight champions from Everton for an initial £75m.
Blues boss Antonio Conte, who signed a new two-year contract at Stamford Bridge earlier this week, began the summer by telling hitman Diego Costa that he longer figured in his plans and was free to find himself another club.
Should Chelsea conclude a deal for Morata, he would become the club’s fourth signing of the transfer window following the arrival of midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, goalkeeper Willy Caballero and defender Antonio Rudiger.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had earlier slammed the door shut on the prospect of Sergio Aguero, who was at times out of favour at the Etihad Stadium last season, joining Chelsea.
City are believed to be closing in on a deal for Real right-back and Chelsea target Danilo in a move which could cost the north-west outfit £26m.
Guardiola said: “We have many options from players coming, but until the deal is done, out of respect for other clubs I cannot say anything [about Danilo].”