Chelsea set to bid €80m for Real Madrid striker

Chelsea have turned their attentions to signing Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata and will launch an €80m (£70.8m) bid for the former Manchester United target in the coming days, reports AS.

Antonio Conte’s side have been forced to rethink their transfer strategy after being beaten to the signature of Everton striker Romelu Lukaku by their Premier League rivals United.

The Premier League champions were thought to be the only side in the race to sign Lukaku but United managed to hi-jack the deal just when it seemed they were about to clinch a deal for Morata.

The 24-year-old is desperate to leave Madrid in search of regular first-team football and Zinedine Zidane’s side are hopeful of using the money raised from his departure to fund a world-record move for Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe.

However, Madrid have been holding out for €90m (£79.7m) all summer, which United were reluctant in paying considering the Spain international spent most of last season on the bench.

Chelsea’s opening offer will likely come under their valuation but Conte’s side have little choice now as they get desperate in their search for a new star striker after telling Diego Costa he is no longer wanted at the club.

Conte, who was keen on Morata before quitting as Juventus manager in 2014, was linked with a move for the Spaniard last summer but now looks set to get his man 12 months on.

Of players that scored at least five goals in La Liga last season, only Lionel Messi (1 every 76.5 minutes of action) required fewer minutes per goal than Morata (every 88.7 minutes of action).