Chelsea's pursuit of Costa replacement sees them join Arsenal in race to sign £40m-rated Real Madrid striker

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Chelsea have made Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata a top transfer target as they prepare to lose Diego Costa this summer.

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Wanted by Arsenal, amongst others, the Spanish striker has emerged as a viable replacement for Costa, who seems destined to quit the Stamford Bridge club during the close season after rejecting a new deal.

It is expected that the Brazilian-born La Roja international will continue to play for Antonio Conte’s side until the end of the current campaign, but with his departure all but sewn up following a recent row with the Chelsea manager, a list of striking targets has already been drawn up as the Blues plan for the future.

One name that features prominently on their radar, according to the London Evening Standard, is long-time Arsenal target Morata. Rated around £40m, the mobile striker has seen his opportunities limited under Zinedine Zidane so far this season, with Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo often preferred in the forward positions.

Alvaro Morata

The ex-Juventus man could see his chances of making his mark at Real further diminished once the Champions League holders wrap up the signing of Swedish prodigy Alexander Isak from AIK for a fee of around £8.8m.

And as such, the player himself may jump at the chance to leave the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu should he be offered regular game-time by potential suitors. Costa’s likely departure may well lead to a formal offer being lodged this summer as Chelsea bid to beat their London rivals to Morata’s signature.

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Following two successful years at Juventus, with whom he scored 27 goals and won the Scudetto in successive seasons, the 24-year-old returned to Madrid over the summer after Zidane’s side chose to activate their £25.5m buy-back option.

He has made just 10 starts for the club so far this season, netting an impressive nine times, but is still well regarded in the European game and is a regular in Spain squads at international level.

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