Date published: Saturday 6th July 2019 3:25
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata will join Atletico Madrid on a permanent deal at the end of the 2019-20 season, the Premier League club have announced.
The 26-year-old is currently on an 18-month loan with Atletico, which began in January, and he will remain in the Spanish capital upon its completion.
The Spain international scored 24 goals in 72 appearances for the Blues after joining from Real Madrid for a fee of around £60million in 2017.
“We would like to thank Alvaro for his contribution and wish him the best of luck for the future,” Chelsea said in a statement on their official website.
Morata’s first-team chances at Stamford Bridge became increasingly limited under Maurizio Sarri and his loan move to Atletico earlier this year appeared to signal the end of his short-lived Premier League career.
However, with Chelsea currently serving a transfer ban which they are appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, it was not clear whether new boss Frank Lampard would be willing to let Morata leave the club.
But, a deal has now been struck with Atletico, for whom Morata scored six goals in 15 appearances during the second half of the 2018-19 campaign as the Rojiblancos finished second in LaLiga.
Morata took to Twitter to declare himself “happy” to be remaining with Diego Simeone’s side.
He said: “Happy. It’s official. Now I will have time to return with work and goals all the effort of the club and the affection of the fans. Thank you!!!”