Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata completes 18-month loan move to Atletico Madrid

Spain international leaves the Premier League club following the arrival of Gonzalo Higuain

Alvaro Morata has joined Atletico Madrid on loan until the end of the 2019/20 season. Reuters
Alvaro Morata has joined Atletico Madrid on loan until the end of the 2019/20 season. Reuters

Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement with Chelsea for the loan signing of Alvaro Morata until the end of next season, the two clubs said on Monday.

The striker, who had a disappointing time at Chelsea, passed his medical on Sunday, Atletico Madrid, his first club, said in a statement on its website.

"With Morata's arrival, we add a very talented striker to our club, who has the ability to score with his feet and his head thanks to his height," the statement added.

Morata, 26, played in Atletico's youth ranks as a teenager but later joined their city rivals Real Madrid in 2008, where he enjoyed two separate spells either side of a move to Juventus.

Some of Atleti's fans have not forgotten the player's links to Real, with a minority even chanting against his arrival during the team's Primera Liga victory over Getafe on Saturday.

"Their opinion is respectable and people can say what they want," manager Diego Simeone said after the match. "I look for players that serve the club and the team."

After an impressive start at Chelsea, Morata lost form and confidence. He scored 24 goals in 74 appearances for the club. Manager Maurizio Sarri admitted last week the Spaniard had requested to leave at the start of this month.

"Sarri's preference for using Eden Hazard as a central striker during the last couple of months, however, has restricted Morata's involvement," Chelsea explained in a statement, adding: "We wish Alvaro the very best of luck for his loan period."

Morata will bolster Simeone's options up front, which already include the in-form Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa, another signing from Chelsea, who is expected back from injury next month.

Croatia's Nikola Kalinic, who joined Atletico in August, could be allowed to leave.

Updated: January 28, 2019 08:23 PM

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