Michy Batshuayi appears to still have a future at Chelsea after Borussia Dortmund chief-executive Hans-Joachim Watzke revealed the Blues turned down their request to sign the striker permanently.
Batshuayi, 24, was involved in a three-man transfer on deadline day on 31 January, joining Dortmund on loan until the end of the season to fill the void left by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who joined Arsenal in a club record deal [The Daily Telegraph]. The Gunners then allowed Olivier Giroud to join Chelsea, replacing Batshuayi as the club's alternative option up front behind Alvaro Morata.
Of the three, the Belgium international has enjoyed the most explosive start to life at his new club, scoring three times and laying on one assist in his first two appearances for Dortmund.
Speaking on Sky Germany programme Wontorra, club chief Watzke revealed the club had hoped to include an option to make the striker's loan stay a permanent one this summer; a request that was turned down by Blues owner Roman Abramovich.
"It was not possible to get a purchase option, because if Roman Abramovich says no, then it means no," Watzke said, Reviersport report.
Chelsea have been spurned in the past for their decisions to sell on younger players only to see them develop into stars with rival clubs. Kevin de Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Romelu Lukaku were all offloaded by the west London club before they could truly establish themselves at Stamford Bridge, with all three now key players for domestic rivals Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Chelsea's decision not to include a permanent option in Batshuayi's deal could suggest they are wary of avoiding a similar scenario, but it remains to be seen whether Dortmund will push for a permanent move at the end of the season.
Watzke has suggested the club will try to do exactly that, but admits a deal could be difficult. "There is always a chance [of a permanent deal], although if he scores in every game it will be difficult," the Evening Standard report.
Batshuayi scored 21 goals in 55 games for Chelsea following his arrival from Marseille in the summer of 2016 but never truly established himself as a regular under Antonio Conte, starting just 19 of those matches.