Alvaro Morata asked to leave Chelsea a month ago, claims boss Maurizio Sarri, as the striker reportedly closes in on a move to Atletico Madrid.
Morata joined the Blues from Real Madrid in a €65m deal last summer but has struggled for form for the majority of his time in the English capital.
“I think that Morata is a very good player,” Sarri told reporters, as cited by The Daily Telegraph.
“I think that Morata has the characteristics for playing in my team. But Morata, one month ago, said he wanted to play in another team.
“So it was really very difficult for him to give us the 100 per cent for his mental situation, I think. But I think that Morata is potentially a very important player.
“From the physical and technical point of view, he is a very good player and suitable for my football. But the situation changed in the last month. So we needed to change.”
Reports say Morata will join Atleti on an 18-month loan deal for a €7.5m fee, while the club will also hold a €40m option to sign the Spain international permanently.