Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is planning to farm out Michy Batshuayi and bring in a new striker in the January transfer window, with Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke and Leicester City's Jamie Vardy touted as potential replacements for the Belgian.
Batshuayi joined the Premier League champions from Ligue 1 outfit Marseille for £33m in the summer of 2016 but had to make do with a watching brief for much of his first season in England.
The former Standard Liege hitman started just one Premier League match during the previous campaign as he played second fiddle to Diego Costa, who has since been replaced by his compatriot Alvaro Morata as Chelsea's first-choice frontman.
Batshuayi did lead the line for Chelsea as they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat by Crystal Palace on Saturday (14 October) and is expected to be named as a substitute when the Blues take on Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday. The 24-year-old was hauled off at Selhurst Park before the hour mark by Conte, who is looking for an upgrade in the striking department and has been for a number of months.
Chelsea have made a list of potential forward targets, according to the Telegraph, and are prepared to loan out Batshuayi in the winter transfer window if they manage to recruit a forward of a higher standard. Batshuayi was almost loaned out in January and would have been sent on his travels in the summer if Chelsea managed to sign Fernando Llorente, but the Spaniard eventually opted for Tottenham on transfer deadline day.
Conte's men have considered making a move for Leicester forward Vardy in previous windows, but it remains to be seen if they follow up their interest with a formal offer for the 30-year-old, who has started the season in fine form. Vardy rejected a move to Arsenal in the summer of 2016 and has just under three years left on his current contract with Leicester, who managed to salvage a 1-1 home draw against West Bromwich Albion on Monday.
Another potential candidate to replace Batshuayi is Palace's Benteke, who is currently sidelined with a knee problem. Conte is believed to be a fan of the former Aston Villa and Liverpool hitman, whose style of play draws similarities with Llorente. Chelsea did briefly pursue Benteke during the summer transfer window but their attempts to lure the 26-year-old to Stamford Bridge proved unsuccessful.