Exclusive: Alvaro Morata on why his move to Manchester United collapsed

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has revealed he thought he was destined never to sign for the Blues until he held a conclusive conversation with Antonio Conte this summer.

The Spaniard has made an impressive start to life in the Premier League filling the shoes of the exiled Diego Costa, netting three times in the league already.

It could have been a very different story for the former Real Madrid striker, however, for Morata who had been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United earlier in the transfer window, only for the Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho to focus his attention to then-Everton striker Romelu Lukaku.

Morata admitted he was under the impressive that Lukaku would be joining the Stamford Bridge outfits but explained that the Blues boss played a pivotal role in ensuring he signed for the reigning Premier League champions, while the Belgium international ultimately ending up at Old Trafford.

‘Yes. I had various offers this summer, not only Chelsea and Manchester United but also from different leagues,’ Morata told the Daily Mail.

‘It was a good situation for me. The most important and best conversation I had was with Conte, he wanted me to come here. At the start of the summer, I didn’t know that Chelsea were interested in me. I thought they were in for a different player.

‘Maybe Lukaku or maybe someone else, I don’t know. I didn’t think the option of Chelsea was open.

‘But I spoke with Conte several times – and not only this summer. I felt in debt to him. He signed me for Juventus but left very quickly to manage Italy. I always wanted to play for him after that. It was only two months with him but it felt like I’d known him forever. When I knew he wanted me this summer, I didn’t think twice. I did everything I could to make the move happen.

‘Last summer it was close. Cesar Azpilicueta was a bit annoyed because he had already started house-hunting for me last summer. We’d even got estate agents on board. This time Cesar has sorted everything!

‘When I spoke to Conte last summer, I said “If I’m going to leave Real Madrid, it will only be for Chelsea”. I remember I was with my wife after hearing him out conversation and I said “Chelsea are going to win the league this season.” And that’s exactly what happened. Now we need to repeat it!’

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Donald Stephen

Donald Stephen is a freelance football writer who knows only slightly less about football than you do. A regular contributor to Football Weeks, the Set Pieces, and others. You can connect with us on - Facebook and Twitter