Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi has committed his future to the Ligue 1 club in a blow to both Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United's plans to lure the Belgian to the Premier League. The 22-year-old has been become subject of intense speculation regarding his future, but has sought to put that to bed with a defiant statement of intent.
Batshuayi has scored 18 goals in all competitions for Marseille this season, form that has sparked interest from English shores. The Evening Standard understands both Spurs and the Hammers are among those monitoring the player, who is valued at £30m ($42.6m).
In January, the forward signed a new contract at the Stade Velodrome until 2020 to stay off interest from Tottenham and West Ham; however the player has taken it upon himself to address his future once more. Batshuayi says his spell with Marseille is far from over, having only joined the club from Standard Liege in 2014.
"For me, the future is with Olympique Marseille," said Batshuayi, according to The Evening Standard. "I like it here, there's a magnificent stadium, good players that I love. I want to stay, I love the club as a whole: the club, the supporters, the joy. Whether in Europe or not, it will not change. I began my story with OM, and I find that my story with OM is still far from over."
The Daily Telegraph had previously understood that West Ham held the upper hand in attempts to sign Batshuayi over Tottenham, with midfielder Dimitri Payet – who is friends with the player – trying to convince him to move to the English top flight. The players were close during their spell together at Marseille, while the agent who brought Payet to Upton Park could also become involved.
However, the lure of Champions League football at Tottenham may be an offer too tempting to turn down. Though Harry Kane is spearheading the club's Premier League title challenge the North Londoners are perceived to be lightweight in attack, a matter they are expected to address in the summer.