Exclusive – Chelsea are prepared to keep striker Michy Batshuayi at the club as backup to Tammy Abraham for the remainder of the season.
The Belgian has managed 19 appearances in all competitions this season but has started just three games, none of which have come in the Premier League, as manager Frank Lampard has chosen to stick with top scorer Abraham.
As a result of his limited game time, ?Batshuayi has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in January, but a source has told 90min that ?Chelsea are ready to keep him around for the remainder of the season at least.
The Blues see him as a capable backup for Abraham, but they may be open to selling in the summer if one of their preferred striking targets becomes available.
Chelsea remain on the lookout for a new striker, but they do not want to rush and sign one just for the sake of it. Instead, club officials only want to bring in certain specific players, but none of those are available right now.
As a result, Batshuayi will remain with Chelsea at least until the summer, when a fresh decision about his future will be made.
With Batshuayi as backup, Chelsea are ready to part ways with ?Olivier Giroud, who is expected to seal a switch to ?Inter to reunite with Antonio Conte. The Frenchman has rejected both Aston Villa and Newcastle United in the hope of sealing his move to Italy.
Their determination not to sign just any striker means they are prepared to let Giroud go without bringing in a replacement.
The Frenchman has managed just two league appearances since August and is not seen as a vital part of the squad, especially with Batshuayi ahead of him in the pecking order as well, so Chelsea have no real problem with losing him.
Abraham will remain the Blues’ starting striker, having racked up an impressive 13 goals in 21 ?Premier League appearances.
For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!