Chelsea's Morata to join Atletico Madrid on permanent deal

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata will join Atletico Madrid on a permanent basis after the end of his 18-month loan deal, the clubs announced on Saturday.

The 26-year-old has been at the Spanish club since January, scoring six goals in 17 games, and is on loan until the end of the 2019/20 season.

The Spain international was Chelsea's record signing when he joined the club from Real Madrid for £60 million ($75 million) on a five-year contract in July 2017, and scored 24 goals in 72 appearances for the Blues.

Despite scoring on his Premier League debut, the former Real Madrid player failed to find his feet in England, with injury and poor form costing him his place in the starting line-up.

He had to share striking responsibilities with Olivier Giroud when the France international arrived in January 2018 and now-departed manager Maurizio Sarri's preference for using Eden Hazard as a central striker further restricted Morata's involvement.

Morata tweeted that he was happy that he would be remaining with Diego Simeone's side.

"We would like to thank Alvaro for his contribution and wish him the best of luck for the future," Chelsea said in a statement.

Atletico, who signed another forward Joao Felix from Benfica for 126 million euros ($142 million) earlier this week, finished second in La Liga last season.

The Spanish club said in a statement: "Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea have reached an agreement for the transfer of Alvaro Morata as of July 1, 2020.

"The Spanish striker will play at our club on loan this season, as was agreed when he joined Atletico de Madrid in the January transfer window, and the move will become permanent at the beginning of the 2020-21 season."

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