Chelsea could use Michy Batshuayi as bait as they fight Liverpool and Arsenal for Monaco’s £86-million-rated winger Thomas Lemar.
Blues chief Antonio Conte is reportedly ready to loan out frontman Batshuayi as part of his transfer-window dealings next month.
The Belgian star was only a substitute in Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Huddersfield, even though Blues’ main frontman Alvaro Morata was sidelined through injury.
And Batshuayi’s hopes of a regular start for Chelsea must have dipped when Conte used attacking midfielders Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro as his front three.
Hazard, in fact, has thrived all season whenever he has been used in this more advanced role.
So Conte might be tempted to let Batshuayi pick up game time – and his confidence – in a temporary exit.
Monaco could be particularly keen on the 24-year-old as he shone in his two years with their Ligue 1 rivals Marseille before joining Chelsea in 2016.
Conte, in turn, loves versatile raiders like Lemar, who can play on the right or left as well as through the middle.
Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev revealed earlier this season that Liverpool and especially Arsenal came close to signing Lemar, 22, over the summer.
The French champions lost eight mainstays in that transfer window, including France striker Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain.
Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva joined Manchester City, while Chelsea snapped up midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Conte might also look for another forward in January after Swansea’s Fernando Llorente opted to join Tottenham in the last transfer window.
The Blues might also consider loaning out Belgian wideman Charly Musonda, 21, after he signed a new contract last week.