For weeks, a major convoy of Real Madrid’s young scorers was expected to form a line out of the Bernabeu this summer, and according to reports it looks like the Spanish giants could pile up enough funds for another top striker.
Striker Alvaro Morata joins such talented players as Isco, Karim Benzema, and Sami Khedira, as likely to move on this summer. Daily Telegraph reported that Morata is highly interested in a switch to Arsenal, with Gunners manager Arsene Wenger also taken with the idea.
The same report indicated Madrid is expected to be in the market for a striker this summer, but could include a buy-back clause in any deal for Morata, who’s price has a floor of £15 million. Morata is expected to cover the likely loss of Nicklas Bendtner at the Emirates.
Like the above mentioned players, Morata’s main concern is more pitch time. In Madrid’s last 17 matches in all competitions, the Spanish 21-year-old has started just twice, entered as a substitute with less than 20 minutes left to play eight times, or sat on the sideline mulling his options overseas.
Since he moved up to the Madrid first team in 2011, Morata has become used to a lack of quality pitch time, with 39 total appearances and five goals.
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Picking a lineup should be the easiest part of Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti’s week, but with so much depth some players will undoubtedly be unhappy.
Benzema and Morata have the unenviable job of battling Cristiano Ronaldo, and Isco and Khedira also have Xabi Alonso and Gareth Bale ahead of them.
As if sifting through such incredible offense wasn’t enough, Ancelotti could have even more choices at goalkeeper this summer.
Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who made his name with the now legendary Champions League victory over Barcelona last season, has been linked with numerous teams in both Spain and Italy, including Madrid, according to The Sun.
Standing at 6-foot-7, the 25-year-old is the tallest to ever play for Celtic, and could create a logjam with Diego Lopez, Iker Casillas, and Jesus Fernandez already on the Madrid roster.
Forster spent six years on loan away from Newcastle United, before Celtic made him a permanent fixture after he made 15 combined saves against the Catalans in UCL play.
Holding a 19 point lead for first place and a 54 goal-differential advantage, Celtic have dominated the Scottish Premier League this season largely due to Forster's 16 clean sheets. Considering his market value is roughly £4 million, Madrid could snag him up cheaply before Forster's value inflates any more.
Lopez and Casillas, both 32, are under contract until 2017 with the former posting another solid year with 10 clean sheets in 26 games. It’s more likely Fernandez, whose contract runs out in 2015, would be the one to lose his spot for Forster.