Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata on a five-year contract.
Morata, 24, joins on a deal reported to be worth an initial £58 million, potentially rising to £70m.
“I am so happy to be here,” Morata told the Chelsea website. “It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club. “I am looking to work hard, score as many goals as I can and to win as many trophies as possible.”
The Spain international was born in Madrid and progressed through Real’s academy and B team to make his first-team debut in 2010.
He moved to Italian champions Juventus in a deal worth nearly £18m in 2014, and after two seasons during which he won Serie A and the Coppa Italia twice, Madrid exercised a buy-back clause to bring him back to the Bernabeu for around £27m.
Last season, he scored 20 goals in all competitions as Madrid won La Liga and the Champions League titles.
Morata wrote in a lengthy farewell on Twitter: “Today my second spell at Real Madrid finishes, today a new phase of my career begins. I’m sure that some will not understand my decision, others will certainly not support it… but in the end that’s what it is, my decision. A decision well thought through and considered.
“I’m leaving home, because that’s how I feel at Real Madrid. I’m going with the clear conscience of someone who gave everything in every training session, in every minute in which I was lucky enough to wear the shirt, with the calm of having been important in an amazing year in which we lifted four trophies, a year that I’m sure neither you nor I will ever forget…”
“I only have words of thanks for Real Madrid. I’m the player that I am now thanks to this club. I want to make the most of these lines of my farewell, which cannot be done in any other way, in order to say thank you: thank you to the president for having understood my vision, for understanding that I’ve made a decision and for respecting it.
“Thank you also to the coaching staff for everything they have helped me and supported me with, I am a better player than a year ago and it’s thanks to them. Thank you also to my teammates, with whom I shared an amazing season. Thank you to each and every one of the employees of the club who worked hard every day to make life easier for the players.
“And thank you, of course, to the fans, because since my return you have made me feel loved and valued, because you’ve always been there, from my presentation until the last night at Cibeles… Lastly, and most importantly, thank you to my wife, thank you to my family, to my agent and my friends, who are always there and never let you down.”
On Wednesday, Chelsea confirmed that a deal had been agreed for Morata to move to Stamford Bridge.
Blues boss Antonio Conte briefly worked with Morata at Juventus and believes the forward — who scored 20 goals as Real won both La Liga and the Champions League last season — can bring something different to the Chelsea front line.
Speaking at a news conference in Beijing earlier on Friday, Conte said: “We have added a fantastic striker, even at a young age he has won a lot already and we are looking forward to welcoming him to the squad.
“I think for sure this is a good signing for us. He is a young player, but has a lot of experience, he went to Juventus and Real Madrid. He has a lot of experience and I think this is a good sign for us.”
Conte has already signed Germany defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma for a reported £29m, midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco for a reported fee of £40m and goalkeeper Willy Caballero following his release by Manchester City.
Chelsea are currently in China for preseason preparations and face Premier League rivals Arsenal in Beijing on Saturday.
They then travel to Singapore for the International Champions Cup, facing Bayern Munich on July 25 and Inter Milan on July 29.
Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo told the club website: “We are delighted to complete Alvaro’s signing and welcome him to the club. We believe he can make a great impact for Chelsea and look forward to seeing him in action.
“Alvaro has proven class at the highest level and his quality will be a huge asset to Antonio and the squad.”