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A little more smoke: Arsenal may meet Morata’s pay desire

The twists get turny and convoluted

Italy v Spain - Round of 16: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

This, I don’t know. It’s about Alvaro Morata, and about how he wants a big ol’ raise - I mean, who doesn’t? I love my job, but I’d love a raise too! - now that he’s a Real Madrid player again. It makes sense; they liked him enough to buy him back, so you’d think there’d be a desire there to make him as happy as possible, within reason of course.

But Real are balking, on a couple levels - they’re not willing to pay him more than he made at Juve (€4 milion/year), and they’re also apparently dragging their feet on assuring Morata of regular playing time. Morata says that if he doesn’t get that, he’ll leave.

This is where things get a bit confusing in the linked article. After laying out the case for Morata to go, it says

Zidane is counting on the striker for the new season - but would stand in his way if he requested to leave.

The structure of that sentence suggests that there’s a word missing - typically, that type of sentence ends “but would not stand in his way...”. So whether this is a translation issue (this is an English-language version of AS, not Google Translate), a typo, or whether Zidane would legitimately block his exit is yet to be seen.

And then there’s the tenuous, unsourced seven word parenthetical that made me write this piece:

(Arsenal are willing to pay 9 million)

Are they? How do we know this? Have we heard this from anyone, anywhere, ever? Well, 90 seconds of research shows me that there may actually be fire to this smoke: multiple sources (dubious though they may be, there are a lot of them) say that Arsenal either have already or are prepared to make Morata their highest paid player, most of them saying Arsenal would more than double that to that suggested €9 million figure (£144K/week in the queen’s money).

Now, again, I’m not suggesting any of the sources I’ve seen for this story (Metro, talkSPORT, something called punditarena dot com) are actually any good - the closest any mainstream site comes to saying anything similar is Sky Sports’ piece asking whether he’s a good fit and breaking down what the risks of signing him are, not just throwing numbers out and assuming it’s going to happen.

But still, it’s an intriguing twist in what could turn out to be a long, convoluted thing - talks between Real Madrid and Morata aren’t expected until they travel to the US later this month for that stupid International Champions Cup thing, so buckle in, because we’ll be hearing a whole lot more unsubstantiated stuff between now and then.