Antonio Conte has revealed that he expects Michy Batshuayi to move out on loan if another striker makes his way into Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move for Edin Dzeko this January and insist there is no room for three strikers at the club, with Alvaro Morata currently holding down the starting spot in the league.
West Ham striker Andy Carroll, Stoke's Peter Crouch and Burnley's Ashley Barnes are among the names to be linked with a move to West London but Dzeko has emerged as the prime candidate to make a switch to the Blues before deadline day. Chelsea are close to completing a deal worth €50m (£44m) and €10m (£9m) in bonuses for both Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri, which might also see Batshuayi go the other way on loan.
Batshuayi made just his fourth league start in the 4-0 win against Brighton on Saturday since Chelsea bought him from Marseille in 2016. And with the world cup around the corner, the Belgian is keen to get a few minutes under his belt to make the squad to Russia alongside Romelu Lukaku.
The Blues were primarily interested in signing Carroll but the move fell through after the striker suffered a foot injury, which will keep him out of action till April. The Blues have already allowed Kenedy to leave on loan to Newcastle and Conte expects further departures if they bring in any more players.
"It's the same as Kenedy. If another striker arrives, then Batshuayi will go on loan. I think he wants to have the opportunity to play with regularity. I think this is right," Conte said, as quoted by the Evening Standard.
"If we stay with the same players from the start of the season, it doesn't change. One player goes out, one player comes in. One player comes in, one player goes out.
"I think we have to try in every moment to be honest with our players. I don't know if another striker will arrive for Chelsea.
"But, in this case, I don't want to send away any player. But a lot of times it's the player saying he prefers to go away to have the possibility to play regularly. Then you have to show you deserve to play every game."