West Ham United manager David Moyes has dismissed speculation linking the Hammers with a move for Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi, insisting that his trip to watch the Premier League champions face Norwich City in the FA Cup on Wednesday (17 January) was not born out of a desire to run the rule over the Belgian forward.
Batshuayi is expected to leave west London by the end of the month with reports linking him with a loan move to Sevilla, who are also interested in signing Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge on a temporary basis.
West Ham were also hoping Antonio Conte's side would include Batshuayi as a makeweight in an agreement for Andy Carroll, though any possibility of that deal taking place has been ended after the 28-year-old suffered an ankle injury.
With Chelsea desperate to sign a target man before the close of the transfer window - Stoke City veteran Peter Crouch is the latest name to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge - Batshuayi's future in the capital looks to be nearing its end.
West Ham are one of the many supposed interested parties in the 24-year-old, who scored for Chelsea against Norwich on Wednesday night, a match Moyes was in the stands for.
The Scot's attendance immediately sparked speculation about a potential swoop from the Irons for Batshuayi but the former Everton boss was keen to stifle growing rumours, insisting that he was not scouting any particular player as he watched Conte's side labour to victory via a penalty shootout.
"Before the window opened, I said our priority had to be in midfield, where we were short of cover," Moyes said in his column for the Evening Standard. "Since then most of the speculation has been about our front players and, depending who you listen to or what you read, all our strikers are up for sale.
"I went to watch Chelsea play Norwich in the FA Cup on Wednesday night and I knew that would increase the speculation about Andy Carroll and Chelsea with Michy Batshuayi coming to us.
"Categorically, I did not go to Stamford Bridge to watch Batshuayi or any other player in particular. I like to get out and watch plenty of matches, I hadn't seen Norwich this season and there were some players there who had been mentioned to me as having been doing well."
Moyes also saw fit to quash links between Chelsea and Carroll. The former Newcastle United forward's injury has seemingly put paid to his chances of a move to Stamford Bridge, and Moyes revealed that he may even need surgery to remedy the troublesome ankle problem.
"What may defuse much of the speculation is that the ankle injury Andy picked up against West Brom is sufficiently serious that he will not be able to play again this month anyway and it could even need an operation to put things right, although that has not yet been confirmed," Moyes said.
With Carroll, Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic all vying for the central forward berth, Moyes has no pressing need to add to his striking roster this month. His focus is on bolstering West Ham's engine room, but he decided against divulging his side's apparent interest in Inter Milan midfielder and reported Manchester United target Joao Mario, who is said to be willing to move to east London despite rejecting the Hammers' initial approach.
"I think he's a name that's been mentioned but again, whether he is from Inter Milan, Chelsea or anywhere I'll not talk about players that are at other clubs. He's an interesting player, a good football and certainly very talented."