Earlier this week, reports from Belgium emerged of Sevilla’s interest in Chelsea backup striker Michy Batshuayi, with the red-and-whites looking to add the man still not quite in favor with Conte on loan for the rest of the season. Now here come similar reports from Spain, which claim that Batshuayi is “very close” to finalizing such a move.
It’s a move that would make some sense for Michy, assuming he would actually get regular minutes in a top league, but it does hinge on Chelsea actually acquiring a viable backup for Morata ... and the club seem nowhere near doing anything of the sort.
Which, in a way, is also fine, considering that the names tenuously linked with the Blues are nothing short of uninspiring. Sure, we could talk ourselves into any one of Jamie Vardy (ludicrous speed; hustle), Andy Carroll (calling all Assist-pilicuetas!), Christian Benteke (Eden Hazard’s good friend), or Richmond Boakye (wait, nope), but it would be a rather sad rationalization exercise.
But, at least so far, it sounds like we won’t have to exercise any such mental gymnastics. On Friday, Conte himself poured plenty of cold water on the Vardy stories...
“No, honestly we didn’t speak about him, but I repeat we are talking about a really good player. For sure Vardy is a really good player and I don’t like to speak about players of other teams, but in this case we are not talking about transfer market.
”I appreciate a lot this player because he is a really good player, Vardy. He played for the national team and is scoring with regularity in this league and is a good player, but this different — I am talking about him because you ask me and not the transfer market.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Goal
...while Conte’s counterpart at West Ham, David Moyes, did the same for the Carroll (and Chicharito) stories.
“I don’t want any of them to go. We have got no players here who we want to leave. We need to add to our squad. So, ideally, we strengthen. My intention is not to let anyone go.
”What I will say is we have got four or five strikers and the competition is tough for all of them. If we were (to let them go) it would take an awful lot of money in this window to prize them away.”
-David Moyes; source: Sky
That does leave the Benteke angle, which does have a bit of life left in it thanks to Crystal Palace supposedly agreeing a fee with West Ham for Diafra Sakho, though that’s been played down by both managers.