London (AFP) – Premier League champions Chelsea completed the signing of Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata on a five-year-deal on Friday in a deal reported to be worth up to 80 million euros ($92.2 million).
“I am so happy to be here. It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club. I am looking to work hard, score as many goals as I can and to win as many trophies as possible,” the 24-year-old told Chelsea’s club website.
Morata put pen to paper with the London giants after undergoing a medical and he is now expected to link up with his new team-mates, who are preparing to play Arsenal in a pre-season friendly in Beijing on Saturday.
He could make his debut against Bayern Munich in Singapore next Tuesday.
Morata, who scored 20 goals in 43 appearances for Real last season on their way to the Champions League and Spanish title, also has nine goals in 20 appearances for Spain — including three at last year’s European Championship.
Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said Morata can make a huge impact domestically as well as in the Champions League.
“We are delighted to complete Alvaro’s signing and welcome him to the club. We believe he can make a great impact for Chelsea and look forward to seeing him in action,” said Emenalo.
“Alvaro has proven class at the highest level and his quality will be a huge asset to Antonio and the squad.”
Earlier Friday, Chelsea coach Antonio Conte marvelled at the “crazy” transfer fees demanded for players, though he praised Morata as a young but experienced striker with a bright future.
“He’s a good striker. He’s a player with the right prospect for Chelsea. He’s very young and for sure he can improve a lot,” Conte told a press conference on the eve of the game against Arsenal.
Chelsea had long been linked to a move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, but they signed Morata after the Belgian international joined Manchester United instead for a reported 85 million euros.
Asked whether the price paid for Morata was fair after he had previously warned about the spending power of Chinese clubs, Conte acknowledged that “for sure this transfer market is crazy”.
“I think if you want to buy a simple player, okay, a normal player, you have to start to think to spend 40-50 million euros, and I think this is incredible,” he said.