Chelsea target Alvaro Morata is set to sign for big spending AC Milan, according to reports in Italy.
The Real Madrid star had been a top target for the Blues earlier this summer, but were priced out of a move by the Spanish giants.
Now, Morata could move back to Italy and join AC Milan – who have stunned the rest of Europe with a £160MILLION spending spree so far this summer.
According to Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport, AC Milan are closing in on a move worth around £61million and will offer the striker £170,000-a-week in salary.
If Morata moves to the San Siro he would take the club’s spending to more than £200m and become their TWELFTH signing of the summer.
Chelsea and Manchester United, who had both been strongly linked with a move for the 24-year-old earlier this summer, had been told they would have to pay closer to £80m for the Spanish international.
Both the Premier League clubs reportedly had offers of around £70m rejected, and were put off by the high price-tag.
The news will come as another bitter blow to Antonio Conte, who has now seen striker Diego Costa mock him on social media – while wearing an Atletico Madrid shirt.
The Spanish striker is destined to leave Stamford Bridge this summer after he went public with a text message row he had with the Italian manager.
A return to Atletico Madrid is clearly his preferred destination, but with the Spanish club under a transfer embargo until January, he may have to spend the next six months on loan.
Costa wants to be playing in a World Cup year, but options are limited for the 28-year-old.
He has been linked with a short-term move to China and Turkish champions Besiktas.
Chelsea continue to be linked with a number of striking options, with Andrea Belotti of Torino, Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Manchester City star Sergio Aguero all being pursued.
Belotti appears set to leave Torino after being left out of the kit launch for the new season, while Pep Guardiola has apparently given the green light to allow Aguero to leave Manchester for west London.
Borussia Dortmund, however, are said to be growing impatient with Chelsea’s delay in a move for 40-goal Aubameyang.