Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has confirmed that Chelsea offered to make him “the most expensive Spanish footballer ever” last summer.
Morata, who said he decided to stay at the Bernabeu to fight for a place at his boyhood club, was heavily linked with a move to either Chelsea or Arsenal during the summer transfer window.
“Chelsea showed the most interest,” he told Sport Bild. “Antonio Conte had already signed me for Juventus.
“And it was a very good offer this time. I would have been the most expensive Spanish player ever.”
Morata’s future became the subject of intense speculation when Madrid activated the £34 million buyback option in the agreement that took the striker to Juventus in 2014.
Many believed Madrid had re-signed Morata in order to sell the 23-year-old on for a profit.
But Chelsea eventually bought Michy Batshuayi from Marseille for £33m after being frustrated in their pursuit of Morata and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, while Arsenal signed Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna in a £17m deal.
Morata said he had committed himself to Madrid when coach Zinedine Zidane told him he had a big role to play for the Champions League holders.
He said that although Chelsea had offered “roughly” €70m, Real “said that they have me in their plans, and that was always a dream of mine.”
Morata scored 12 goals in 47 appearances for Juventus last season before leading the line for Spain at Euro 2016 and scoring three times.
He voiced his admiration for Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, saying: “Lewandowski is the best striker there is, also because of his technique despite his height.
“I try to learn a lot by watching him. I don’t miss a match when he’s playing, and I try to learn from his movements.”
And he said he preferred Ronaldo to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, adding: “I see how he fights and how he works his butt off every single day.”