All of the sudden, it looks like there could be movement when it comes to what Juventus’ group of strikers looks like. And it’s being started with the player who probably wasn’t being tipped to move during the January transfer window.
According to Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti, the sudden move back to Spain for Alvaro Morata is very much a thing. It has gone so far as to where Morata, currently on loan with Juventus until the end of the 2021-22 season, has agreed to personal terms with Barcelona, a club that suddenly is interested in acquiring the 29-year-old Spaniard during the winter window. Morata would be guaranteed something that isn’t totally possible at Juventus at the moment — 18 months of certainty, which given that Juve have an option to either buy him outright or send him back to Atlético Madrid over the summer is very much not a sure thing.
The deal is contingent on something you can imagine is the case: Juventus finding a formidable replacement for Morata.
It was reported on Thursday that Barcelona had directly approached Juventus to try and sign Morata, with the desire to bring Xavi a new striker as he tries to shape his squad in his vision. Morata, maybe surprisingly to many based on how much he’s said he loves being at Juventus, obviously has some interest in joining Barcelona, too, unless he probably wouldn’t have reportedly agreed to personal terms with them.
Or maybe Juve’s already told him they aren’t picking up the option to buy — who knows.
Complicating matters is that there are three teams involved in this. It isn’t just Juventus and Barcelona trying to find a deal like they did a year and a half ago with Arthur and Miralem Pjanic. Atlético Madrid clearly wants to sell Morata and would have been totally OK with Juventus picking up its option to buy the Spaniard both this past summer and this coming one. How much that would cost still remains to be seen, but you have to imagine that Barcelona and Atlético Madrid won’t have issues finding some kind of price.
Where Juve go from here if Morata does leave for Barcelona is what matters most here. There have already been reports about a potential Morata-Memphis Depay swap proposal that Max Allegri wasn’t totally feeling. Other names have been predictably thrown out there was well, with the likes of Mauro Icardi and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang linked with Juve if Morata leaves.
Either way, things suddenly got a whole lot more interesting — and it involves a name that not a lot of people thought would be somebody that might leave over the next few weeks.