With Tottenham looking for attacking reinforcements over the summer, they reportedly asked Real Madrid to include forwards Jese Rodriguez or Alvaro Morata as part of the deal that saw Gareth Bale become the latest Galactico. However, according to Guillem Balague, both players turned the move down in order to fight for their place under new manager Carlo Ancelotti - understandable given they are playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Morata's decision seems to have been vindicated, as his recent, yet sporadic displays have resulted in praise from the Spanish media, and the 20 year old is now pushing Karim Benzema for a starting role in Ancelotti's side.
Having sold Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Maria Callejon to Napoli over the summer – and seen their efforts to land Luis Suarez fall short – Morata is now second choice behind Benzema, and his equalising goal last weekend against Levante serves to prove he's ready to make the step up.
However, with reports now linking Madrid with another move for Suarez, Morata could find himself pushed down the pecking order and could follow the paths taken by two current Premier League strikers in order to make a name for himself.
Alvaro Negredo and Roberto Soldado, of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur respectively, both left the Santiago Bernabeu through a lack of opportunities due to the calibre of players they were in competition with, and have now flourished to the point where they are considered to be important members of Vicente del Bosque's national team squads.
Should Madrid land Suarez in January - or their other striking target, Robert Lewandowski, the Spanish giants could be prepared to loan or even sell Morata, despite his huge potential. Of course, the deal that saw Oriol Romeu leave Barcelona for Chelsea included a buy-back clause in his contract, which could again suit both parties, with Spurs able to sign Morata, and if he realises his potential, could be sold on for a large profit back to his old club.
Despite spending £26m on Soldado, Spurs are still in need of striking options with Emmanuel Adebayor banished from the first team, much to Jermain Defoe's annoyance. With money to spend from the Bale deal, Spurs could manage to make Real Madrid an offer they can't refuse for the striker known as the next Fernando Morientes, but whether Morata's stance on a move to White Hart Lane would change remains to be seen.
image: © carlos rm