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Reports: Barcelona express interest in signing Alvaro Morata

Juventus’ thin strike force could be further depleted in January

FC Barcelona v Juventus: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Caparros - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus have looked to replace the striker with a combination of Alvaro Morata and Moise Kean, with varying degrees of success. While the pair have not come close to replicating the Portuguese forward’s statlines, they have been more than just warm bodies playing the position.

However, now it looks like Barcelona coach Xavi has his heart set on bringing his fellow Spaniard Morata back to Spain during the January transfer window. Multiple media sources are reporting that Barca have initiated talks with the player looking at a six-month loan deal. It does get a little bit more complicated because the striker is still on the books of Atletico Madrid where he has a contract until 2023, but is on loan at Juventus until the end of the current season.

Morata has seven goals and three assists in 23 appearances in all competitions for Juve this season, and nabbed 20 goals and 12 assists in 44 matches last season.

Juve are said to be reluctant to pay the €35 million fee in summer to make the loan permanent, having already stumped up €20m for a two-year loan. Barca for their part are looking to make this deal possible with Atleti by offering a discount on Antoine Griezmann’s loan with an option to buy for €40m this last summer. However, there has been no word as yet as to what they will give the Bianconeri to push this deal through.

There have been rumours however that Memphis Depay could be coming back the other way, with the Dutchman a target of Juve’s from a couple of seasons ago. Depay has been Barca’s leading scorer this season and would offer a different dimension to Juve, but the Italian giants key priority for the position continues to be finding an established striker that will take on the #9 shirt and role for years to come.

In unrelated news, it also looks like Juve will be signing a pre-contract with Barca winger Ousmane Dembele, according to Spanish outlet SPORT, once the January transfer window opens with a view to the player signing on as a free agent come the summer when his current contract with the Blaugrana expires.