Alvaro Morata has arrived at Heathrow airport on Thursday morning to complete his move from Real Madrid to Chelsea, in a club record deal worth an initial £58m rising to £70m with add-ons.
The 24-year-old boarded the British Airways flight from Los Angeles and will now head to Chelsea to undergo a medical, before he puts pen to paper on a five-year deal expected to be worth around £150,000-a-week.
Once the formalities are complete, Morato will jet off to Asia to join his new team-mates in their pre-season tour as they travel to China and Singapore for showcase friendlies against some of Europe’s top clubs.
Before he departed for England he told Spanish outlet AS: “I’m going to the team managed by the coach who has placed the most faith in me, and that’s great for me.”
He added: ”It has been a slightly strange summer for me. A lot of things have happened.
“In the end, if God wishes, tomorrow [Thursday] I will be at a club that have wanted me for years, with a gaffer whom I have spoken to constantly. So I’m really happy.
“I have been training hard for whatever outcome, but I was clear that this was my objective.
“It’s sad to leave Real Madrid, but I hope that everything will go well for me at Chelsea.”
The Real Madrid forward insists he is delighted to be reunited with Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge after he played for the Italian at Juventus. Conte was interested in signing Morato last summer but the champions opted to switch targets in January to concentrate on Romelu Lukaku.
Conte has been frustrated with Chelsea’s transfer dealings this summer and since missing out on the Belgian to Manchester United, Conte swooped in on Morata as the man to replace the team’s talisman Diego Costa.