Football: Chelsea boss Antonio Conte praises Singapore-bound Alvaro Morata

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte speaks at a press conference before a football training session in Beijing's National Stadium, on July 21, 2017.
Chelsea coach Antonio Conte speaks at a press conference before a football training session in Beijing's National Stadium, on July 21, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Beijing (AFP) - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte marvelled on Friday at the "crazy" transfer fees demanded for players, though he praised €80 million (S$127.32 million) newcomer Alvaro Morata as a young but experienced striker with a bright future.

The Italian coach said Morata, 24, will be a "first choice" player for his squad in the upcoming Premier League season, a day after Real Madrid and Chelsea announced his transfer.

Conte hailed Morata's experience playing with the Spanish giants and previously with Juventus in the Champions League.

"He's a good striker. He's a player with the right prospect for Chelsea. He's very young and for sure he can improve a lot," he told a press conference on the eve of a pre-season game against Arsenal in Beijing.

Chelsea had long been linked to a move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku but they signed Morata after the Belgian international joined Manchester United.

Asked whether the price paid for Morata was fair after he had previously warned about the spending power of Chinese clubs, Conte acknowledged that "for sure this transfer market is crazy".

"I think if you want to buy a simple player, okay, a normal player, you have to start to think to spend 40 to 50 million euros, and I think this is incredible," he said.

Sky Sports reported earlier that Morata passed his Chelsea medical and was expected to fly to Singapore to link up with his new team-mates following their tour in China.