Alvaro Morata has dismissed Mauricio Pochettino’s claims he rejected a move to Tottenham two years ago because he did not want to play second fiddle to Harry Kane.
After Morata joined Chelsea from Real Madrid for £70m in July, Pochettino revealed he had a conversation with the striker about joining Spurs “two years ago or more”.
“Morata talked about myself, in the media he said ‘Mauricio called me’. That was two years ago or more,” Pochettino said in August. “He said to me: ‘Why do you want me if you have Harry Kane?'”
However, in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Morata said that Kane’s presence in the Spurs team played no factor in a move which failed to materialise.
“No it’s not true,” Morata said. “I spoke with him and he said he wanted both [of us] to play together, but there was no chance to come to Tottenham.
“For sure I would like to play with Kane, he’s a big player, one of the best strikers in the world, but in this moment when I spoke with him (Pochettino) there was no chance to leave Real Madrid.”
Morata has gone on to settle quickly at Chelsea, adapting to both the demands of the Premier League and the pressure of replacing Diego Costa.
While the 25-year-old says Costa offered him no specific advice when moving to Stamford Bridge, the two remain good friends when catching up on international duty.
“He is a very good player and a good man too. I’m Diego’s friend and when I came here I knew that is was a big responsibility to replace him, but I’ve tried to do well,” Morata added.
“Always when we are together in the Spanish team, we talk about football and life. We talk about everything and I always say thanks to Diego.”
Morata has certainly filled Costa’s boots when it comes to goalscoring prowess at Chelsea, netting 12 goals in all competitions this season.
Of the 10 league goals to his name, six have come with his head, though Morata still believes there is room for improvement as he continues to adapt to English football.
“It’s a good thing in England, and important for a striker to be good in the air. But I think I can do better with the head and the feet,” Morata said.
“In Spain or Italy the game is not like this, but here there are many crosses and it’s better for this.
“But I can score more goals. I had many chances in the Premier League and Champions League and I need to improve. It’s my first year here but I think I can do better and I need to do that.
“Always I can improve something. I’m not perfect, if there’s one thing that I can improve then I try to look for that and work every day to do so.”