Alvaro Morata arrives in Singapore after sealing Chelsea move
SINGAPORE -- New Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata wasted no time in getting to work as he arrived in Singapore on Saturday just hours after his transfer from Real Madrid was confirmed.
Chelsea announced the signing of the Spain international on Friday for a reported initial £58 million fee and, following a short training session, he packed his bags to join his teammates on their Asian tour ahead of next week's International Champions Cup.
Before setting off, Morata expressed his delight at sealing his deal with Chelsea by posting on Twitter: "Happy! On my way to Singapore and very excited to be with the team!"
While Chelsea were in action against Arsenal in Beijing on Saturday, Morata was met by fans on his arrival in Singapore. He posed for photos and signed Chelsea and Spain shirts before being whisked off to his hotel.
His new teammates will soon be joining him in Singapore and these include fellow Spain internationals Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro.
After the forward had put pen to paper with Antonio Conte's men, Azpilicueta spoke to the official Chelsea website about his Spain teammate.
"I've spoken to him and he told me he's really happy to be joining Chelsea," Azpilicueta said. "He's spoken to the manager and he's feeling very pleased with the move. He knows this is a very demanding club but he has always played for top teams, so hopefully his experience will help us a lot."
Morata, a Champions League winner with Madrid this year, is in line to make his debut against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
The striker missed out on Madrid's clash with the Bundesliga giants earlier this year as he was an unused substitute in both legs as the Spanish side overcame Bayern in the Champions League quarterfinals, but the German side will remember him well from the round of 16 the previous season.
While at Juventus, Morata's incredible individual run through the Munich defence helped set up Juan Cuadrado to open the scoring in the away leg. Morata also assisted one of Juventus' goals in the home leg in a tie that the Germans eventually won 6-4 on aggregate.
After the clash with Bayern in Singapore, Chelsea face Inter Milan on Saturday -- a side who will be even more familiar with Morata after his two years in Serie A with Juve.
As excitement builds in Singapore ahead of Tuesday's clash between the English and German champions, Morata's arrival adds spice to what promises to be a memorable week of football.
Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK