Alvaro Morata insisted he is happy with life in London and claimed he would sign a 10-year contract at Chelsea if given the chance.
Quotes attributed to the Spain international by Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday suggested that he does not see himself living in London for long because it is “too big, too much stress, too much of a metropolis.”
The comments prompted fears that Chelsea may have another unsettled star striker on their hands after granting Diego Costa his long-desired move back to Atletico Madrid last month, but Morata was quick to dismiss the concerns in a news conference to preview Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Roma on Tuesday.
“We had a problem of understanding in this interview,” Morata insisted when asked if he is committed to the Premier League champions. “If Chelsea proposed me 10 years [contract] I’d probably sign that too. I’m happy with this club, in this city, with everything in London.
“I really like London and, probably, if I make good and improve, probably I can stay here more than five years. But I need to score many goals otherwise Chelsea will buy another player. It’s normal.
“In the interview I wanted to say, probably in the future when I finish in my career, I won’t live in London. But now, at the moment, I’m very happy in London and enjoy living in London with my wife.
“Probably in the future, when I need to bring my child to the school and take up a school, when I finish my career, I’d prefer to come back to my country. It’s normal. For me, I prefer the place I was born. But now I’m very happy.
“When I say [London] is a stressful city, I’m only talking about the traffic and that there are a lot of people. But it’s an incredible city with many religions and many kinds of different people, so I really enjoy London.”
Asked about the suggestion that Morata is less than settled in the English capital, head coach Antonio Conte said: “I think Alvaro is a good person and is enjoying his time in London, enjoying playing with Chelsea, a great team.
“I know very well where he’s living now with his wife. It was the same building that I lived in last season. A lovely place, not so far from the training ground. But I’m sure about this also because every time I have spoken with him, he has told me he’s very happy, happy for this fantastic experience for him, for his wife.”
Morata has gone four matches without scoring in all competitions since limping off with a hamstring injury against Manchester City at the end of September, but he insisted that his physical problems are now behind him.
“Honestly, now I’m 100 percent fit,” he added. “Probably in the last few games I’ve not been at the best physical form, but now I’m better. It’s hard. It’s a little injury, but it stopped 20 days [ago] when finally I had good condition.
“I need to come back to full fitness, that’s all. The Premier League is different and I didn’t play very many games, but that’s normal.
“In the last game [against Bournemouth] I think I missed one [chance] when I didn’t have too much space, and another when [Asmir] Begovic made a good save. The only thing I needed was to come back to full fitness.
“If I missed chances and the team lost, I’d be thinking all day about these chances. But we got the three points and the win. When I arrived home, I was thinking about these chances but I hope the next time I can make a goal.”