Michy Batshuayi's impressive form since joining Borussia Dortmund on a six-month loan deal last month is piquing interest from rival suitors according to sporting director Michael Zorc and seemingly has the Bundesliga giants more downbeat regarding their prospects of signing the Chelsea striker on a permanent basis this summer.
Batshuayi formed one part of a three-way striker saga towards the end of an eventful January transfer window, with his temporary move to Dortmund following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's £56m ($78.1m) switch from the Westfalenstadion to Arsenal and Olivier Giroud's switch to west London.
Often criticised for his lack of impact at Stamford Bridge, the Belgian international has fared the best of that trio thus far by netting five goals in his first three outings for Dortmund across all competitions including braces against Cologne and Atalanta.
Such a sequence - coupled with Chelsea's ongoing striker issues - has likely left some Blues fans ruing the decision to allow Batshuayi to depart and led Zorc to believe that other teams are now taking a real interest.
"The situation hasn't changed since his signing, and certainly not to our advantage," he told German sports magazine Kicker, per the Evening Standard. "He has become even more interesting to others."
Dortmund certainly do not appear to be in a position of strength when it comes to negotiating a future transfer for Batshuayi having failed to include an option to buy in that initial £1.3m loan agreement [The Sun].
That was not for want of trying, however, with CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke revealing earlier this month that it was Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich that vetoed the request for such a clause.
"We tried our best to get a permanent option for Michy Batshuayi," he was quoted as saying by Kristof Terreur and the Mail. "But it was a no go for Chelsea. When Roman Abramovich says no, it is a no."
That refusal may not necessarily mean that Batshuayi - who cost £33m from Marseille in 2016 [The Guardian] and has made only four Premier League starts to date - definitely still has a place at Chelsea, however, with Goal subsequently reporting that the club hope a good spell in Germany and a positive World Cup showing will increase any potential fee.
The publication added that there is still a belief within the upper echelons of the Chelsea hierarchy that the former Standard Liege forward could still make it in English football, with his future possibly intertwined with that of under-pressure manager Antonio Conte.
After that early quintet of goals, Batshuayi has not found the net in his last three appearances for Dortmund and was unable to help Peter Stoger's side overcome Augsburg in a 1-1 draw yesterday [26 February] evening that saw thousands of home supporters stay away in protest at the scheduling of Bundesliga games for television on Monday nights.
It was also confirmed yesterday that disciplinary proceedings against Atalanta had been opened by Uefa after Batshuayi claimed he was the subject of racist chanting during the second leg of a Europa League last-32 tie between the Serie A outfit and Dortmund at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia last week.