The striker, who played for Madrid between 1997 and 2005, believes his former side is likely to target a forward in the transfer market


EXCLUSIVE


Former Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes thinks the Blancos will sign a replacement for Alvaro Morata – but doesn’t expect it to be Kylian Mbappe. 

Morata is set to join Chelsea in an €80 million move, leaving Madrid short in the forward department, though the club has the funds to sign a replacement.

Though Mbappe has been widely tipped to join the Liga champions, Morientes expects the 18-year-old to stay at Monaco for another season.

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“For Morata, they might sign new player,” Morientes told Goal. “The transfer window is open, so there should be many talks.

“There was a rumor about Mbappe, but he won’t leave Monaco yet, as he is young. I think he wants to gain more experience for one year.”

Though Madrid could spend out on a new striker, Morientes – who also played for Monaco on loan in 2003-04 – thinks the club also have some solid in-house options to fill the void left by the 24-year-old. 

“For Morata’s position, Cristiano (Ronaldo) or (Karim) Benzema should play,” Morientes said. “(Marco) Asensio is on the left so he is not the one to fill Morata’s position.

“What I think is (Madrid manager Zinedine) Zidane would have Benzema and Cristiano as the two forwards. Asensio would play more on left.”

Morientes had plenty of praise for his former team-mate Zidane, who has lifted the Champions League in each of his first two seasons at the helm of the Blancos. 

“[Zidane is the] same as when he was a player,” Morientes said. 

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“He is calm and has a very clear vision, and so he is showing that in management.

“The difference between a player and a manager is that you need to think and study more strategy and [the] technical side, and I think he is doing well.”

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