Chelsea will reportedly reject all offers for striker Michy Batshuayi in January, with several rival clubs said to be looking to sign him on loan.
As noted by The Guardian, the Belgian international arrived at Stamford Bridge in a £33.2m deal from Marseille this past summer, but has found his opportunities to impress Antonio Conte limited having made just 13 appearances in all competitions.
That in large part has been down to the form of Diego Costa who has 13 Premier League goals already this season, but with Chelsea’s leading scorer suspended for the Boxing Day clash with Bournemouth, Batshuayi will finally have a chance to stake his claim for a regular starting spot.
It’s claimed in the report that West Ham United are amongst the leading clubs who wish to sign the 23-year-old on loan until the end of the season, and in many ways it would make sense for Chelsea to allow the inexperienced ace to gain regular playing in the Premier League.
However, with such little depth behind Costa in the squad, Conte won’t want to risk being left short-handed if the Spaniard picks up a serious injury and so Batshuayi is unsurprisingly expected to stay in west London for the rest of the season.
Nevertheless, this weekend will be huge for him as ultimately Conte could still deliver a major blow. While the consensus is that Batshuayi will start against the Cherries, the Chelsea boss also has the option of playing Eden Hazard through the middle and that would be a devastating blow to his fellow Belgian’s confidence if that were the case.
It’s widely suggested that Batshuayi is going nowhere next month though, so if it isn’t this weekend then it will be another game as Conte and Chelsea look to mark his first season in charge with some silverware and that requires strength in depth.