Chelsea are preparing to part ways with Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi despite him spending only one season at the club
According to Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror, Chelsea are set to offload £33 million summer signing Michy Batshuayi. The Belgian has struggled to break into manager Antonio Conte’s first-team plans, and is eyeing a move away from the London club.
Batshuayi moved to Chelsea in the summer from Marseille for a commendable transfer fee, and it seemed that he would challenge the Blues’ number one striker Diego Costa for a berth in the starting eleven.
Initially, the Belgian impressed with cameo appearances off the bench, but his performances have since fizzled down, and he has failed to regain Conte’s trust. In fact, Batshuayi is still to make a single Premier League start this season.
In the summer, it looked like West Ham were likely to complete his signature and they had even reached an agreement with Marseille over the potential sale, but Chelsea made a late flurry, and lured the Belgian towards Stamford Bridge.
Despite him moving to Chelsea, the Hammers’ interest in the player has not dwindled as they have been linked with the striker since his palpable omission from the first-team squad. They were preparing to offer him a temporary exit route in January as the were in with a possible loan swoop for the striker.
However, the move did not materialise as Conte was unwilling to let go of his backup striker. The Italian boss was looking to rope in a replacement in January for Batshuayi, and Swansea forward Fernando Llorente was reportedly on his shortlist.
Reports of a potential swap deal for the two strikers were doing their rounds in the back pages, and at one moment in time, it appeared that a move might just take place. Llorente had previous experience of working under Conte, and benefited considerably with the guidance of the Italian.
But, the proposed transfer did not pan out as many expected, and the two strikers stayed at their respective clubs. The likes of AC Milan and Valencia were also interested in signing Batshuayi on loan, and could be one of the takers, should he be made available.
Antonio Conte is yet to give a guarantee as to whether or not the player is in his immediate first-team plans, and that may just be enough for Batshuayi to plot an exit from Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.