ANTONIO CONTE has finally won his battle for a striker after Chelsea agreed a club-record £68million fee with Real Madrid for Alvaro Morata.
Morata is set to break off from Madrid’s pre-season tour of the US to thrash out personal terms with the Premier League champions.
Striking a deal for Morata ends weeks of frustration for Conte. who sees a new frontman as vital for the defence of the title next season.
It also means he has won his battle with rebel Diego Costa who will now be free to negotiate his return to Atletico Madrid.
The agreement for Morata comes just 24 hours after Conte himself agreed a new two year contract. Which doubled his money to £10m a year.
Chelsea landed in China yesterday morning for a pre-season trip of their own. And now look to have completed their fourth major signing of the summer.
New defender Antonio Rudiger is with them in the Far East along with keeper Willy Caballero.
Midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has stayed at home to recuperate after knee surgery.
Morata, 24, has been a leading choice to replace Costa for months. Even though Chelsea failed with a £75m bid for Everton’s Romelu Lukaku who has since joined Manchester United.
He has struggled for first team action at Real Madrid. But is now ready to be relaunched on English football by Conte next season.
Relieved Conte will be delighted to get a new forward on board. Even though delicate negotiations over pay and terms remain.
Costa was told by Conte last month that he had no future at Chelsea in a heated text exchange. And the pair have never seen eye to eye.