The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern are resigned to Antonio Conte’s departure this summer and recent reports regarding his potential successor have given them reason to believe Alvaro Morata could also be on his way out of Stamford Bridge this summer.
Antonio Conte was refreshingly passionate and immensely dedicated to the club during his debut season in West London, but since the turn of the year the Italian’s demeanour has been devoid of interest and glaringly unhappy within his current position. Disagreements between himself and the club’s hierarchy regarding transfer policy have tarnished their season and, certainly not for the first time, Chelsea have become the architects of their own cataclysmic downfall.
Conte looks destined to depart Stamford Bridge this summer even if Chelsea romp to an emphatic victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup final next weekend, but who exactly will succeed him at the club remains distinctly unclear. According to the Italian media outlet TuttoSport (via the Daily Mail) Maurizio Sarri is in contention to take over at Chelsea this summer, and if he eventually succeeds Conte then he will ask the board to fund the acquisition of Gonzalo Higuain (valued at £63 million by Transfermarkt).
The signing of Higuain would be a huge coup for the club at the end of a season where they failed to qualify for the Champions League, but his arrival would almost certainly signal the end of Morata’s stint with the club. With Olivier Giroud recently added to the squad, Batshuayi set to return from a successful loan spell with Dortmund and Morata struggling for form in England whilst rumours continue to link him with a return to Italy, it seems Higuain’s arrival would be the final nail in the coffin for the Spanish striker.
Although that particular outcome would be disappointing for both Morata and the Chelsea supporters who expected him to thrive at the club, it would be in the best interests of their future ambitions. Chelsea have followed an erratic pattern of mounting a title-challenge and then slumping in the following season, and Higuain’s presence at the club would ensure that pattern would continue next season.
Age is not on the Argentine striker’s side as he is set to turn 31 at the end of the year, but his natural goal-scoring instincts are exactly what Chelsea have been missing this season, so his age should not concern the club’s hierarchy when they consider a potential deal. After watching Man City dominate so imperiously this season, Roman Abramovich needs to make a huge statement of intent in order to bridge the gulf in class next season, and bringing Juventus’ goal-machine to Stamford Bridge would be an ideal place to start.
Chelsea fans – thoughts? Let us know below!