Incensed by his side’s performance in a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, Blues boss Antonio Conte dressed down his troops, according to the Telegraph’s Matt Law, and identified weaknesses in the squad – Batshuayi chief among them.
Now Conte will reportedly look to replace the Belgian international striker in January.
With Alvaro Morata nursing a minor hamstring concern (though he could be deemed fit in time for Wednesday’s Champions League soiree with Roma), Batshuayi was the lone No. 9 in the squad for the brief trip to south London.
He was poor against Palace, then trudged off the pitch in the 57th minute for Pedro, looking upset. Sources told Law that Batshuayi was unhappy with his own performance, not with Conte’s decision to replace him.
Now that Diego Costa‘s cemented a return to Atletico Madrid, Conte wants to reinforce his attack in the winter window. The Belgian would have been loaned out in the summer had former Swansea City striker Fernando Llorente been lured to Chelsea and not Tottenham, and that could still be Batshuayi’s fate in January.
Conte has reportedly expressed an interest in both Christian Benteke and Leicester City‘s Jamie Vardy. The Italian gaffer apparently plans to send scouts to watch Red Star Belgrade striker Richmond Boakye during Thursday’s Europa League clash with Arsenal.