David Moyes did not attend Chelsea’s FA Cup replay against Norwich City to scout Michy Batshuayi, while the West Ham boss has dealt a blow to the Blues in their reported chase of Andy Carroll.
Belgium international Batshuayi has been strongly linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in January after struggling to make an impact at Chelsea in the year-and-a-half since moving from Marseille.
Batshuayi – who scored for Chelsea against Norwich – had been suggested as a potential makeweight in a deal to take Carroll the other way, with Antonio Conte’s side linked with several surprising options, including Stoke City veteran Peter Crouch.
But Moyes attempted to end those rumours in his column for the London Evening Standard, with Carroll unlikely to play again for anyone this month.
“Categorically, I did not go to Stamford Bridge to watch Batshuayi or any other player in particular,” he wrote.
“I like to get out and watch plenty of matches, I hadn’t seen Norwich this season and there were some players there who had been mentioned to me as having been doing well.
“What may defuse much of the speculation is that the ankle injury Andy picked up against West Brom is sufficiently serious that he will not be able to play again this month anyway and it could even need an operation to put things right, although that has not yet been confirmed.”
Moyes, meanwhile, has also sought to curb talk suggesting that Inter winger Joao Mario is among those on his January wish list.
The Portugal international, who has also been linked with Manchester United, is a player the Hammers boss admires, but one he is reluctant to speculate on.
The Scot added: “I think he’s a name which has been mentioned but whether he’s from Inter Milan or Chelsea or wherever I’m not talking about players from other clubs,” Moyes added. “He’s an interesting player, he’s a good footballer and certainly very talented.”