Tottenham Hotspur's hopes of completing a deal to sign Michy Batshuayi during the January transfer window appear to have been dealt a significant blow, with Marseille manager Michel insisting the player is not for sale. The Belgian international, who moved to French football from Standard Liege in August 2014, is enjoying a promising second season at the Stade Velodrome and has notched 14 goals in all competitions to date.
Such impressive form is believed to have attracted the attentions of Mauricio Pochettino, with reports from the Daily Mail in December suggesting that Tottenham have twice sent scouts to check upon the 22-year-old's progress over recent months. With Harry Kane currently the club's only fit and established out-and-out forward, the need to strengthen was further highlighted with the news that summer signing Clinton Njie will spend weeks on the sidelines after undergoing surgery to fix knee ligament damage sustained during the Europa League victory over Monaco.
Marseille president Vincent Labrune has previously stated his desire to see Batshuayi remain in Ligue 1, although he hinted that this could depend upon L'OM qualifying for the Champions League next term. Michel, meanwhile, believes that any business done over the winter will be focused on incomings rather than outgoings.
"You want to kill me! I don't think about Michy leaving," he told Maxifoot, as translated by the Evening Standard. "If we're going to sign anyone it will be an addition not a replacement."
Tottenham are not the only Premier League club to have been credited with an interest in Batshuayi. According to The Chronicle, strugglers Newcastle United have also been keeping a close eye on the player, but are believed to be reluctant to meet his £21m ($31m) asking price.
Injuries are also likely to increase Steve McClaren's sense of urgency in the transfer market, particularly when it comes to attacking reinforcements. A 1-0 defeat at Arsenal on 2 January left the Toon two points adrift of managerless Swansea in 18th, while Papiss Cisse is believed to be facing up to three months out with a groin injury.