Alvaro Morata could turn down Manchester United to join Chelsea – as he wants to work with Antonio Conte again.
United had been favourites to sign Real Madrid wantaway Morata – with a £65m deal appearing close to completion last week – but the Blues have barged in.
Morata looks set to leave the Bernabeu this summer after complaining about game time last season, with the Spain international only starting 14 La Liga games, as reported in the Manchester Evening News .
But Chelsea’s interest will be of concern to Mourinho – particularly given the player’s affection for Conte – the manager who signed him for Juventus in 2016 before taking over the Italian national team.
Conte tried to sign Morata again for Chelsea last summer – and the striker has made it clear he would one-day like to play for the Italian.
The 24-year-old told the Guardian in April: “Various Premier League coaches called to tell me to play for them. I said yeah, I’d like to, that if I had to leave I would almost certainly go to London, but that I didn’t know what Madrid would do.
“I knew they’d bring me back but I didn’t know if it was to keep me or sell me. I spoke directly to Mauricio Pochettino and Antonio Conte, although the norm is clubs call my dad or agent. Madrid said they didn’t want to sell, so here I am.
“I remember talking to my dad then and him saying: ‘This guy’s going to win the league there.’
“Conte is the manager who most ‘bet’ on me, without even ever having had me in his team. I’m very conscious of that: he bet on me for Juventus but left before I arrived; then he wanted me at Chelsea come what may. He knows me better than I could imagine, I’m sure, and that’s important: it motivates you to work hard, train well.
“I feel indebted to him because he’s the coach that most trusted in me, most wanted me, who made me feel I could perform at the highest level. And yet I’ve never had the fortune to actually work with him. I’m sure sooner or later I will.
“The future excites me, whether that’s Madrid or somewhere else. I still have to learn, improve. I can do a lot but I need to play more and for someone to really back me. Either I take off or I end up in a position of comfort, playing games occasionally. I’m no longer the youngest, I’m 24, it’s a big moment.”