Alvaro Morata has insisted that joining boyhood club Atletico Madrid on loan from Chelsea was a “very easy” decision despite reported interest from Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Morata, 26, is hoping to restart his career back at home in the Spanish capital after an unsuccessful 18 months at Stamford Bridge following his £60 million move from Real Madrid.
A brief presentation ceremony at the Wanda Metropolitano had a heavy emphasis on his time at Atletico as a youth player between the ages of 11 and 14, with the words “Chelsea” and “Real” both going unmentioned.
“It was very easy, everything stopped when my agent told me this possibility,” Morata responded when asked why he had turned down interest from Barca and Bayern. “If I am here, it is because I want to be here, which is the most important. I feel part of this club again.
“I do not feel like a new player, my teammates have written to me over these weeks when nothing was closed. [But] there was no need to convince me. Life takes many turns but I am here now and looking forward to training with the teammates, under [Diego] Simeone’s orders.”
Morata will now battle with Diego Costa for a place alongside Antoine Griezmann in the Atletico attack, with the two centre-forwards never having shared a pitch together despite being regular Spain squad members over the last four years.
“Diego, apart from being a teammate I had a long time with national team, is also a good friend,” Morata said. “I have spoken with him when I have had difficult moments, him too with me when he has difficult times. Why can we not play together? It is easy to play with great players. I am looking forward to seeing him, for sure he will have some jokes.”
Morata’s likely first two games as an Atletico player at the Wanda will be Feb. 9’s derbi against Real Madrid — the club where he won two La Liga and two Champions League trophies — and then Feb. 20’s Champions League round-of-16 first leg against Juventus, where he won two Serie A titles.
“A nice problem, no, what I would do after scoring a goal?” Morata responded when asked if he would celebrate after scoring against a former club. “I won’t have to think about it, if things are going well, it will all come naturally.”