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Football transfer rumours: Alvaro Morata to Arsenal via Real Madrid for £30m?

Today’s fluff could do with just the seven coffees to perk up

It’s been three years since Arsène Wenger first cast an admiring glance in the direction of Alvaro Morata. Back then the Arsenal manager did what he always does when he’s caught looking remotely like he has the hots for a striker, and behaved like an environmentalist who has just been caught staring longingly at a dirty hot-rod. “I am not concerned about that [buying a striker in January]. We have at the moment Yaya Sanogo.” Ample cover Arsène, yes. Just ask Charlton. But perhaps the Arsenal manager is about to change his tune.

You see, he’s sniffing around Juventus, where the Spain international now plies his trade. Wenger’s had enough of playing hide and seek with Theo Walcott on Saturday afternoons and is willing to send the striker with 11 years’ worth of potential in his napsack off for an extended session of hiding elsewhere while he pairs Morata up front with Olivier Giroud. That’s Giroud who, despite getting regular pelters off all and sundry, has actually scored twice as many goals as Morata this season. Gulp. But the deal – if it goes ahead – will probably involve Real Madrid nabbing Morata for their £23m buyback clause before selling him on to Arsenal for £30m with a seen-you-coming wink. Wenger will then buy the Greek defender Kostas Manolas from Roma as well as the Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka and that’s a new spine – something Arsenal haven’t had for more than a decade.

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