Chelsea are considering a move to sign West Ham United star Dimitri Payet in the January transfer window. Antonio Conte has identified the France international as the target for the Blues after their failed efforts in luring Bayern Munich's Arturo Vidal in joining them.
According to The Sun, Chelsea have been issued a warning in their pursuit of the Chilean international. Bayern are refusing to sanction the midfielder's sale, who has worked under the Italian coach at Juventus. This has forced the Chelsea boss to look elsewhere in the transfer market, which has seen him identify Payet as the target.
Conte has recalled Nathan Ake from his loan spell at AFC Bournemouth. The west London club are leading the Premier League table after 20 matches and the former Juventus manager wants to make quality additions to his side to boost Chelsea's chances of winning the title.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed that Payet is refusing to play for his current employers. The Hammers are reluctant to allow their star player to leave the club in January, who is contracted until 2021.
"We have said we don't want to sell our best players but Payet does not want to play for us. I spoke to the chairman and this is not a money issue. We gave him a long contract because we want him to stay," Bilic explained.
Bilic is an admirer of Michy Batshuayi, who has failed to feature regularly since moving to Chelsea from Marseille. West Ham are planning a loan move until the end of the season. The Premier League leaders are hoping to take advantage of the situation and use the Belgium international as leverage in pursuing the Hammers to sanction Payet's sale.
Chelsea are not the only club interested in signing Payet. The Mirror reports the Blues' former coach Jose Mourinho is looking at the option of landing the Frenchman and Manchester United are believed to preparing a £35m ($42.6m) bid.