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Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has denied he will sign for Serie A side AC Milan this summer, with the Spanish striker even hinting he wants to continue his career with Los Blancos beyond this season.
Speaking after Madrid beat his former team Juventus 4-1 to win the UEFA Champions League in Cardiff, Wales, on Saturday, Morata shut down the rumours linking him with a move to the Rossoneri. He told Mediaset Premium (h/t Football Italia): “No, I certainly won’t be in Italy. I want to continue here and it’s difficult. I can only tell you what I read in the papers, I know nothing else. I like Italy, but I am happy here. Madrid is my team and my city. I always said Juve is my second home. You never know.”
The idea of Morata moving to Milan gathered steam after Rossoneri manager Vincenzo Montella spoke glowingly about the idea to Italian source Tuttosport (h/t ESPN FC). Spanish source Diario Gol (h/t James Walters of the Daily Star) had reported officials from AC Milan would be at the final in Cardiff to discuss terms with Morata’s representatives.
Morata would surely thrive in Milan, given his affinity for football in Italy’s top flight, following his successful spell with Juve. The 24-year-old also has qualities that translate well to any league, namely his aerial power and pace in behind.
Yet despite those qualities, Morata has found playing time hard to come by with Los Blancos. In fact, he’s made a mere 14 starts in La Liga and just one in the Champions League, per WhoScored.com.
Even so, Milan could use a striker with Morata’s ability, since Colombian Carlos Bacca has been inconsistent in Serie A.
Gianluca Di Marzio (h/t Metro‘s Coral Barry) had revealed Morata had agreed personal terms with the seven-time European champions. However, the player’s words in the glow of victory in Cardiff appear to contradict any such deal.
Isco Keen to Renew
Another Madrid squad player keen to stay with the Champions League winners is attacking midfielder Isco. The former Malaga ace confirmed as much to Antena3 in Cardiff (h/t Goal’s Chris Myson): “I hope to renew soon—there is no better place than Madrid to play football.”
As Myson pointed out, Isco has just one year left on his current contract. However, his form during the business end of the season means Los Blancos should strongly consider keeping him for the long term. After all, the 25-year-old has been superb in the final third, creating chances and scoring goals in clutch moments.
Isco had a hand in two of Madrid’s goals during a 4-1 win at Celta Vigo earlier this month, a decisive result in Los Merengues winning the Spanish league title. His contributions were typical of a season in which Isco stood alone among midfielders in La Liga, according to OptaJose:
18 – Isco Alarcon has been involved in more goals than any other midfielder in La Liga this season (10 goals and eight assists). Honey. https://t.co/uTOtQeMsW0
Yet like Morata, Isco has often been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium this year. He was even linked with a move to Madrid’s arch rivals Barcelona, per Diario Gol (h/t Jack Otway of the Daily Express).
The player’s latest words seem to endorse the idea he will commit his future to Madrid ahead of pursuing a transfer away.
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Keeping key contributors such as Isco and Morata is vital for a Madrid squad built on terrific strength in depth in recent seasons. When a player as good as Isco can come in for Gareth Bale, while Morata can replace Karim Benzema up front, it’s little wonder Los Blancos have dominated both domestically and in Europe during this campaign.