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Antonio Conte: Alvaro Morata was Chelsea's first choice over Romelu Lukaku

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ANTONIO CONTE insists Alvaro Morata was his "first choice" transfer target this summer - even though Chelsea missed out on Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea have agreed to sign Morata in a £78million deal from Real Madrid.

The Blues moved for the Spain international after Manchester United snapped up Lukaku in a £75m deal from Everton.

Express Sport understands Conte was fuming with his Chelsea bosses after learning they had failed to re-sign Lukaku.

But Conte is adamant Morata was the only man he wanted to lead the Chelsea line.

"It is very important the choice," he said in his press conference in Beijing.

"Morata for sure is our first choice.

"He is a good player, the right prospect for Chelsea and hopes to show his value with us."265284

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Morata will become Chelsea's fourth summer signing, following Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Willy Caballero to Stamford Bridge.

His arrival will take the Blues' spend for this summer over £150m.

The Premier League has witnessed a number of mega deals so far this summer.

Morata will join the growing list of strikers to have joined Premier League clubs of huge fees, with Alexandre Lacazette's switch to Arsenal breaking their club transfer record.

And Conte concedes that the increased price of players has surprised him.

"For sure this transfer market is a crazy market, but it is not only for this season but for the future seasons," he said.

"Now there is crazy money, if you want to buy a normal player you need to spend €40m to €50m.

Romelu Lukaku 1008001

"It is the same. Lukaku cost a lot of money, the same with Lacazette. For a right back you spend €50m or €60m."

Source: express.co.uk

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