Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are both on red alert after it was revealed that in-demand Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi is set to be sold. The 22-year-old, who has been named in Belgium's initial 24-man squad for Euro 2016, only signed a contract extension in January that looked set to keep him at the Stade Velodrome for a further four years.
Batshuayi has scored 25 goals in all competitions so far this term, but seemed more than content to stay in France after declaring that his "future is at Marseille" and expressing love for L'OM's supporters and teammates. That show of commitment did little to stem the constant tide of transfer rumours, however, and caretaker manager Franck Passi has now confirmed the player's imminent departure.
"Everybody knows that he will leave," he was quoted as saying at a press conference by Get French Football. "It is included in the accounts that Michy will be sold this summer. We will accept it. We know why players leave Marseille, the financials are not so enticing, we have to accept it."
West Ham have been frequently linked with Batshuayi of late, although Slaven Bilic recently rejected reports he had already submitted a club-record offer of £31.5m ($45.6m) for his services. The Hammers, who bade farewell to their Boleyn Ground home this week after 112 years with an emotionally charged 3-2 victory over Manchester United, look set for a bright future at the Olympic Stadium and have also been mentioned in connection with big-money bids for forwards including Christian Benteke and Alexandre Lacazette.
Liverpool and Serie A champions Juventus are among the other clubs said to be watching Batshuayi, while Tottenham's interest in both the former Standard Liege forward and versatile Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti was confirmed by Mauricio Pochettino in an interview with French radio station RMC last month.
"We are looking for a striker this summer," he said. "Batshuayi is a young player who has a lot of talent. He is logically followed by many clubs. We have information about him, he has good potential. Then we will see, we also have other players in our sights."