There were some major shake-ups across Europe as Luis Suarez was finally allowed to leave Barcelona — but he is heading for Atletico Madrid, not Juventus as originally planned.
Barca agreed to let the Uruguayan striker join La Liga rivals Atletico on a reduced salary after his move to the Italian champions Juve collapsed due to passport issues.
Atletico will pay around 4 million euros for the 33-year-old, according to the BBC.
Juventus instead secured the signing of Atletico’s Spain striker Alvaro Morata on a one-season loan for 10 million euros, the Italian champions said.
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The agreement also gives Juve an option to buy the 27-year-old at the end of the season for 45 million euros to be paid over three years, the Turin club added.
They could otherwise take him on loan again for the 2021-22 season for another 10 million euro fee and then buy him outright in 2022 at a reduced cost of 35 million euros.
Morata returns to the club where he spent two seasons between 2014 and 2016, including scoring in the Champions League final loss to Barcelona in Berlin in 2015.
He spent just one season with Atleti, who had initially loaned him from Chelsea but then bought him outright in July last year at a reported fee of 65 million euros.
Morata moved to Juve originally from Real Madrid and netted 27 goals in 93 games over two seasons. He went back to Real in mid-2016 but then joined Chelsea after one season.
His latest move comes days after an abortive bid by Juventus to sign Luis Suarez from Barcelona and allows the Turin giants to rest 35-year-old talisman Cristiano Ronaldo more regularly.
Juve, who are chasing a 10th successive Serie A title this season, visit AS Roma on Saturday although that match could come too early for Morata to feature.
The Turin side, whose new coach Andrea Pirlo previously played alongside Morata, began their campaign with a 3-0 home win over Sampdoria at the weekend.