Conte insists Alvaro Morata was his first-choice

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has insisted that Alvaro Morata was his prime striker target for the summer despite missing out on Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United. The Red Devils signed Lukaku for an initial £75m earlier this month and Conte was said to be fuming after missing out on the Belgium international.

However, during a press-conference in Beijing, Conte has highlighted that Morata was their first choice for the transfer window and hopes to utilise his services for the upcoming campaign and beyond, he said: “Morata for sure is our first choice. He is a good player, the right prospect for Chelsea and hopes to show his value with us.”

The Spaniard’s arrival takes the Blues’ overall spending to above £150m while he also becomes the club’s most expensive recruit beating the previous transfer record held by Fernando Torres back in January 2011. With the huge sums spent on new signings, Conte admits that he is surprised with the upward valuation of players nowadays.

He added: “For sure this transfer market is a crazy market, but it is not only for this season but for the future seasons. Now there is crazy money, if you want to buy a normal player you need to spend €40m to €50m. It is the same. Lukaku cost a lot of money, the same with Lacazette. For a right back you spend €50m or €60m.”

Chelsea have one of the shortest pre-season tours ahead of the new campaign with games against Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan prior to the Community Shield. Conte’s side take on the Gunners in their first outdoor friendly tomorrow, and they will be hoping to put up a performance against a club, who have already featured in three games on their tour of Australia and China.
Morata is unlikely to be available for the game tomorrow, and he is likely to team up with his Blues teammates in Singapore where they take on Bayern Munich at the national stadium on Tuesday.