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TRANSFER – Chelsea could call back Morata from Atletico Madrid loan



Atletico Madrid could be set to lose Alvaro Morata unless they pay the fee Chelsea are demanding for the Spanish international. The former Real Madrid star was sent out on loan by the Blues to the Wanda Metropolitano with the Los Rojiblancos having the option to make the move permanent.

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However, the Blues are willing to recall the Spain international if Atletico are not willing to pay £50 million to buy him outrightly.  That leaves Atletico needing to raise cash if, as expected, they complete the signing of Portuguese teenager Joao Felix for a reported fee of £112.9 million.

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The news will be a huge concern to Morata, who has made it clear that he wants to stay at Atletico, where he scored six goals during the second half of the season.

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One of the biggest problems facing incoming head coach Frank Lampard will be how to replace the goals scored by Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid.

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Hazard netted 21 goals last season, with Olivier Giroud second best on 13 alongside Pedro. Ruben Loftus-Cheek hit 10 goals, but he could miss the majority of next term through injury, while Morata was one further back on nine, despite leaving on loan.

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With Gonzalo Higuain returning to Juventus, Chelsea have a strike force of Giroud, Michy Batshuayi, who scored nine goals across two loans at Valencia and Crystal Palace, and Tammy Abraham, who netted 26 times in the Championship for Aston Villa.

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Morata fell out with former Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri, but a return under Lampard would still be difficult after the 26-year-old hit out at his Chelsea team-mates and the Stamford Bridge fans.

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Meanwhile, Brazil international Willian has backed Frank Lampard to be a huge success as he prepares to replace Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea’s boss. Since it was confirmed Maurizio Sarri would be leaving Stamford Bridge to join Juventus earlier in June, the former Chelsea midfielder has been strongly linked with a return to the north London club to succeed the Italian as head coach.

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Willian is one of the longest-serving players at Chelsea and spent time in the same team as Lampard at Stamford Bridge. The Brazilian said he would expect the Derby County boss to have a big influence from the dugout if he were to get the job.

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“He is a legend,” Willian told Jack Lang of Football.London. “He was an extraordinary player for the club, winning every possible title. He deserves so much respect and backing for what he has already achieved at the club. If Chelsea do bring him in, he will be very welcome. Despite his excitement at working with Lampard, Willian is unsure whether a deal has been agreed between the club and its all-time top goalscorer.

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“Is he definitely going to be the next manager? I don’t know,” the 30-year-old said. “But I think he would be up to the task. He was a great player, and he is a great person. He’s only starting his managerial career now, but he has everything it takes to be a success.”

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