English Premiership

Morata leaves Chelsea for Atletico on loan

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Alvaro Morata (Getty Images)
Alvaro Morata (Getty Images)

Madrid - 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 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 La Liga victory over Getafe on Saturday. 

"Their opinion is respectable and people can say what they want," coach 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. Coach 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. 

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