Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is considering making a summer approach for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata following Zlatan Ibrahimovic's anterior cruciate ligament injury.
The Old Trafford boss admitted recently that long-term knee injuries to Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo had affected his plans for the summer transfer market, saying: “Yes, if I don’t have the players for a long period of time, obviously it affects plans.”
Their search for forwards has been ramped up dramatically, and Real Madrid star Morata is one of the players being considered as an alternative in the No.9 role to the Swede, who's bagged 28 goals in 2016-17, as a result of his major surgery.
Mourinho’s working relationship with the 24-year-old during his spell in charge at the Bernabeu is thought to be a key asset should United decide to make a move on the former Juventus striker.
It won’t be plain sailing for the Red Devils though, with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte also among a long list of suitors, and Morata might need some convincing that he would not simply be swapping one losing fight for first-team football for another.
The striker spent two seasons with Juve and won increased game time as the Bianconeri fell agonisingly short of a historic treble in 2014-15, losing 3-1 to Barcelona in the Champions League final having already clinched the Coppa Italia and Serie A.
And while he returned to the Bernabeu with an increased profile the following term, he has continued to find it difficult to earn regular time in the first team.
Under Zinedine Zidane this season Morata has again struggled for game-time, despite leading all Madrid players in goals per minutes. Starting roles have proven elusive even during the recent injury absence of Gareth Bale, leading the striker to believe that it might be time to look elsewhere and finally abandon his dream of succeeding with Real Madrid.
And with no Ibrahimovic available for the foreseeable future at least, Morata could well be persuaded that United present his best hope yet of earning regular football with one of the world’s most renowned football clubs.