West Ham boost in pursuit of £33m Premier League striker - report
By Will Butcher
Michy Batshuayi would prefer to remain in London with West Ham then move to Swansea after being made available by Chelsea, according to a report.
Bleacher Report claim that the 23-year-old, who signed for Chelsea from Marseille for £33million last summer, would rather join the Hammers who have pushed themselves out of a relegation fight, rather than battle against the drop with Swansea.
However, the Telegraph claim that Antonio Conte’s side will use Batshuayi in an attempt to bring Spaniard Fernando Llorente to Stamford Bridge this month.
That could mean that Belgium international Batshuayi will be left with little choice but to join Paul Clement’s struggling side, who currently lie in 19th position in the Premier League.
It is believed that the player is well aware of interest from West Ham, and would prefer a move to the Hammers as Slaven Bilic continues his season-long search for a striker.
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The Croatian boss looked to bring a prolific striker to the London Stadium in the summer, but Simone Zaza, Jonathan Calleri and Andre Ayew have managed just one goal between them.
Batshuayi, who has scored four goals in just 395 minutes of first-team football this season, could be the signing to kickstart the Hammers Premier League campaign.
Currently stuttering in 13th, the former Marseille ace could provide the missing link to push the east London side up the table.
Football Insider verdict:
The signing of Chelsea’s number 23 would be good bit of business by the Hammers, with Batshuayi showing that he can find the back of the net despite hardly featuring for Chelsea this season following his £33million move in the summer. Batshuayi has scored four goals this season across all competitions at a rate of just over one every 90 minutes and how West Ham would crave someone that could do that for them across the second half of the season. Batshuayi has got the ability to be world-class and it’s not often you get the opportunity to nab someone like that on loan. The Swansea connection is worrying for Hammers fans but a big plus point is that the player wants to stay in London.
In other West Ham transfer news, Ray Wilkins believes this Premier League 29-year-old would be a good signing.