Manchester United were obviously in the market to sign a new striker following the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimović and the more than likely departure of Wayne Rooney.
Having pursued Andrea Belotti, Antoine Griezmann and Romelu Lukaku for several months, Alvaro Morata seemed the more likely option for Manchester United.
But how did Manchester United’s deal for Morata fall through?
The Spanish hitman had an impressive season in La Liga as he scored 15 goals in 26 league games.
It is even more impressive given the fact he only started 14 of those games.
The last term was an indication that Euro 2016 was not just a tournament wonder for him; where he scored three goals in four games. He is a player with real attacking threat and one who is not afraid to shoot when the chance arises.
However, the transfer deal became incredibly messy. It had been dragging on for weeks and was starting to frustrate manager Jose Mourinho who wanted a settled squad before his move to the USA for Manchester United’s pre-season tour.
With a reported bid of €75 million (£65.8m) meant to be in place, United have scrapped all plans for Morata and opted for Lukaku instead; who has Premier League experience.
Morata is currently behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema in the pecking order at the Santiago Bernabéu and it came as a surprise to many United fans that Madrid were not willing to let their striker go for a cheaper deal than their €90 million valuation of him.
Given the history between the two sides, Madrid stubbornly wanted to hold out for the extra €15 million. There have been battles in the past with Sir Alex Ferguson stating that he would “not even sell them a virus” and “would not get into a contract with that mob” during the Ronaldo saga.
However, he allowed Ruud Van Nistelrooy, David Beckham, Gabriel Heinze and Ronaldo eventually go to the 12 time European Champions.
Real Madrid’s asking price for Morata was simply too much. Why pay €90 million for a player who’s garnered a reputation as an impact sub when you can sign a proven Premier League goalscorer for €75 million.
The relationship between both clubs was also strained due in large part to the fact that Jose Mourinho used to manage the La Liga champions and his time at the Bernabeu was not well received following heated arguments with the board and his treatment of club legend Iker Casillas.
Even the Portugal international Pepe revealed that he was glad Mourinho’s time at Real Madrid went quickly as he felt everyone hated the team whenever they stepped onto the field.
However, the eggs were not all in the Morata basket because with Chelsea stalling on a deal for Lukaku, Manchester United jumped at the chance to strike a deal to bring the Everton striker to Old Trafford.
This showed Madrid that the Manchester side were keeping their options open and would not succumb to Los Blancos’ arrogance.
The relationship could still be reconciled with Manchester United interested in James Rodriquez, but his market value will be through the roof following failures between the clubs over Morata and De Gea.