Chelsea reluctant to sanction Batshuayi loan move to Aston Villa


The Belgium international is being targeted by Dean Smith’s side following a serious injury for starting striker Wesley against Burnley on Wednesday

Chelsea are reluctant to allow striker Michy Batshuayi to leave in the January transfer window amid interest in a loan move from Aston Villa.

Goal can confirm that Villa have made an enquiry regarding the availability of Belgium international Batshuayi, with Dean Smith keen to bring him to Villa Park until the end of the season.

Smith was dealt a huge blow on New Year’s Day as his preferred starting striker, Wesley, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Burnley that is set to see him miss the rest of the season.

Wesley, who joined Villa in a club-record deal from Club Brugge in pre-season, has started all 21 of Villa’s Premier League matches this term, scoring five goals.

Batshuayi, meanwhile, has largely played back-up to Tammy Abraham since the arrival of Frank Lampard as Chelsea boss during the summer.

The 26-year-old, who has previously spent time out on loan at Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Crystal Palace, has made 12 substitute appearances in the Premier League under Lampard, with his only starts coming in the Carabao Cup.

But in spite of his sparse playing time, Lampard does not want to see Batshuayi – who will likely start against Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday – depart this month, though the introduction of attacking reinforcements could alter his thinking.

Having been freed to sign players after their FIFA-imposed transfer ban was halved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Blues are in the market for a new forward in the January window.

Dortmund’s teenage star Jadon Sancho and RB Leipzig talisman Timo Werner have emerged as primary targets while Wilfried Zaha is also being considered, though it is understood Crystal Palace will not sell for less than £80 million ($105m).

Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze is also being monitored, though any hopes of luring Moussa Dembele away from the Lyon were scuppered on Thursday as the Ligue 1 outfit insisted the ex-Celtic man was not for sale.

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While Batshuayi may well be staying in west London for the rest of the season, the same cannot be said for some of his Chelsea team-mates, with Lampard willing to let some of his more experienced players depart.

Olivier Giroud is keen to move on as he searches for regular football ahead of Euro 2020, with Inter, Lyon and Bordeaux keen on the World Cup-winning striker.

Spanish duo Pedro and Marcos Alonso may also be allowed to leave, with both players exploring their options.


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