Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has ruled out the possibility of allowing Alvaro Morata to leave the club this summer.
Morata returned to the Spanish capital earlier this year after Madrid triggered a £23million buy-back clause in the striker’s Juventus contract.
The 23-year-old Spain international has since been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu, with a number of Premier League clubs, including Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, reportedly interested in the forward’s services.
However, Zidane insists he has no plans to sell Morata, who played an hour of Madrid’s 3-2 victory over Chelsea in the International Champions Cup on Saturday.
‘Morata is a Madrid player,’ Zidane told FourFourTwo.
‘We are delighted to have him back, back to his original home. He will remain a Madrid player.’
Zidane’s comments come as a blow to Conte, who is keen to sign a proven goal scorer before the start of the new Premier League season.
Morata played an hour of Madrid’s 3-2 win over Chelsea in the International Champions Cup on Saturday
Blues boss Antonio Conte is keen to sign a striker before the start of the new Premier League season
Another option for the Blues is former striker, Romelu Lukaku, although Everton are thought to want £75m for the 23-year-old Belgium international.
Meanwhile, Morata’s club team-mate Jese is close to securing a move to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.
The 23-year-old, who did not feature against Chelsea, has struggled to secure a first-team place under Zidane and has now been allowed to speak to Unai Emery’s side.
Morata finished as Spain’s top goal scorer at Euro 2016 earlier this summer
Morata’s team-mate Jese has been allowed to hold talks with French champions Paris Saint-Germain
‘Jese has had discussions within the club,’ confirmed the Real boss.
‘I don’t really know more than that but that’s why he didn’t play. He has been speaking with PSG but nothing official yet.’
Zidane also moved to dampen speculation linking the current Champions League holders with Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, who scored twice during the pre-season friendly on Saturday.
‘There are rumours about tons of players potentially linked with this club,’ he said.
‘He is a very, very good player. Obviously all clubs want the best players but he is a Chelsea player.’
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