Arsenal did try and negotiate a deal that would have seen them sign former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata on loan before the January transfer window closed, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Italian journalist claims that the move would have hinged on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang moving in the other direction to Juventus, and Morata’s parent club Atletico Madrid approving the deal. Romano says neither of those things happened:
“(Arsenal wanted) to do a swap deal – Aubameyang to Juventus and Arthur or Alvaro Morata to Arsenal. They were interested in a potential swap deal with Morata as a new striker or Arthur as a new midfielder. Both on loan, so no permanent deal. Aubameyang to Juventus and Morata or Arthur – not both of them, only one – to Arsenal.”
“The answer was no. Why? Because Juventus decided to sign Vlahovic, but also because Barcelona also were trying for Morata and they received the same answer that Arsenal received for the Spanish striker. No from Atletico Madrid. Juventus were ready to open negotiations for Morata but (his parent club) said no because they didn’t want to accept any loan move again for (him). So this is why, for Arsenal, it was no to this negotiation.”
It is somewhat surprising that the Gunners wanted to bring Morata in. The Spanish international struggled during his last spell in England, scoring only 24 goals in 72 appearances for Chelsea.
His goal record since leaving Stamford Bridge isn’t exactly spectacular either, having scored 22 times in 61 games for Atletico, and 28 more for Juve. Saying that, though, he would probably have only been a stop-gap solution until the summer anyway.
With Aubameyang moving to Barcelona on deadline day, Arsenal subsequently ended up losing a striker and getting no replacement. Fans will probably debate whether having Morata would have been much of an improvement on the current situation.