Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague has provided key transfer updates on Real Madrid pair Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez amid interest from Chelsea and Manchester United respectively.
Zinedine Zidane is facing a conundrum this summer, as he has a number of individuals considered second-choice but who are more than good enough to have a prominent role at a top club elsewhere.
James Rodriguez, Alvaro Morata, Isco, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vasquez all fall into that category, and it will be interesting to see who stays and goes with the La Liga giants tipped to make big signings this summer too.
According to Balague, he expects Rodriguez to leave the Bernabeu, and gives the edge to United who are in his eyes the favourites to land the Colombian international.
“James is wanted by many teams in Europe, and for me Manchester United are the favourites to get him,” he told Sky Sports.
“His agent is Jorge Mendes who is very close to Jose Mourinho. He would be willing to help a team on the up, and Manchester United with the investment coming in the summer should be contenders for everything. Although it’s one thing to be contenders and another thing to win.”
Having shown his quality with Colombia and in previous spells with Monaco and Porto, the 25-year-old can offer so much more as he’s shown what he’s capable of with 11 goals and 13 assists in 31 games in all competitions and limited playing time this season.
As for Morata, Balague believes that he could also be heading out of the exit door but his situation is a little more complicated as he’s waiting to find out what Chelsea do.
The Blues are also linked with a move for Romelu Lukaku, but Balague is convinced that Morata would be the better fit at Stamford Bridge next season.
“Morata wants to see what happens with Chelsea – there is a choice to be made between Romelu Lukaku and Morata, the first one preferred by the club and the second by Antonio Conte. I think Morata will suit Chelsea much better. His movement, the knowledge of the coach, his intelligence would suit the London outfit.”
Morata has bagged 20 goals in 39 games this season, and a move to Chelsea would see him finally work with Conte after the Italian tactician signed him while at Juventus in 2014, only to leave that same summer to take the Italy job. It’s hard to disagree with Balague, as the Spanish forward would undoubtedly ybe a better fit for Chelsea and would perhaps be even more profile with a consistent run of games.