Official: Real Madrid buy back Spain striker Alvaro Morata from Juventus
(Reuters) - Real Madrid have activated a buy-back clause to take Spain striker Alvaro Morata back to the Bernabeu from Juventus, the European champions announced on Tuesday.
Morata, who came through the ranks at Real, was sold to Juve two years ago, and scored 12 goals for the Italians last season, helping them secure a Serie A and Coppa Italia double.
"Real Madrid have informed Juventus of their decision to buy back the registration rights on the player Alvaro Morata, who will join up with the first team for pre-season training under the command of Zinedine Zidane," said a Real statement.
Morata had previously expressed a desire to return to Madrid, but media reports suggest Real are hoping to make a quick profit by immediately selling the forward to an English club, possibly Arsenal or Chelsea.
"Real will exercise the repurchase right and will inform us in written form in the next days. We will evaluate what to do," Juve chief executive, Giuseppe Marotta, said earlier on Tuesday.
Morata, whose buy-back clause is reported to be worth about 23 million euros ($25.94 million), is currently leading the line for holders Spain at the European Championship, and scored two goals in the 3-0 Group D win against Turkey on Saturday.
His highlight in a Juventus shirt was scoring against his former club Real in both legs of their Champions League semi-final in 2015 to help the Italians reach the showpiece match.
Morata, who was under contract with the Turin giants until June 2020, had been a youth product of Real's and made 37 appearances in four seasons with the first team before being sold to Juve for 20 million euros.
Meanwhile, speculation over the future of Juve's influential France midfielder Paul Pogba intensified after his agent Mino Raiola confirmed talks over a potential transfer to Real have begun.
However, Marotta was quick to play down suggestions that Pogba would follow Morata to Spain.
"No official bids have arrived," he said. "For us he is an indispensable player. Raiola is a great agent and we have a great relationship with him.
"Paul's development is not yet complete, and he will do well if he stays with us for the years to come."
($1 = 0.8868 euros)
(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi and Adriana Garcia; Writing by Nivedita Shankar,; Editing by Neville Dalton and Ian Chadband)