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Morata 'proud' of his Real Madrid past as he prepares for Atletico switch

12:57 GMT 27/01/2019
Alvaro Morata Chelsea 2018-19
The former Los Blancos man is set to join their rivals from Chelsea and states that he any polarising reaction would be expected

Alvaro Morata insists that criticism from Atletico Madrid fans about his past tenure with bitter La Liga rivals Real Madrid past is "normal" as he closes in on a move to Diego Simeone’s side from Chelsea.

The 26-year-old is expected to complete an initial year-and-a-half loan move – with an option to subsequently buy – from the Premier League imminently, with the Spain international having arrived in the capital on Saturday.

The striker exited Los Blancos for the Blues in 2017 but has struggled over the past year despite a bright start to his career at Stamford Bridge, winning the FA Cup with the club.

A return to Spain had looked likely this month following Maurizio Sarri’s arrival to take charge of Chelsea ahead of the current campaign and after Sevilla ceased their pursuit, Atletico emerged as clear frontrunners.

The forward spent his early youth career with the club as a child, and was a member of their academy, before he made the switch to Champions League holders Madrid.

Some sections of supporters however have not been keen on Morata playing for Atletico, with a portion of the crowd during Saturday's 2-0 win over Getafe chanting their displeasure at the impending arrival.

The player however remains calm about the situation, and is insistent that he remains proud of his past at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Speaking to reporters at the airport, Morata said: “I'm happy to be in Madrid. I've been waiting for many days.

“I'm super happy and I want everything to be finalised, to start and train with my colleagues.

“The people who have always been with me know how I feel today, how the last days have been.

“It's normal for people to have their thoughts [about playing for Atletico after Real Madrid], I know what I can do.

“I started playing at Atletico. People who know where I come from, they know my history and what this means to me. The past is the past, I am proud of that.”

Morata is expected to have a medical on Sunday and his Atletico debut could come at Real Betis on February 3.