Crystal Palace had agreed a fee of around €38million with Marseille for their goal scoring hit-man Michy Batshuayi, but Chelsea have now swooped in to agree a €40million fee and contract with the striker.
Crystal Palace had agreed a fee of €38m (£31.6m) with Marseille for Belgian striker, with Marseille seeming to reject West Ham United’s offer of €35 million (£28.25m) which was made on Friday. Chelsea have now also agreed a fee with the French club, thought to be a little higher.
Batshuayi scored with his first touch in Belgium’s dominating 4-0 victory over Hungary on Sunday which sealed them a place in the quarter finals.
West Ham have been on his case since the start of May and are still hopeful of reaching an agreement with both Marseille and the player, Juventus are also very interested in the 22-year-old and have had a bid of more than €30m also rejected.
Crystal Palace seemed to have stolen a march on interested clubs as Palace’s co-owner Steve Parish has directly made an offer to Marseille’s president, Vincent Labrune. But Antonio Conte was impressed by Batshuayi’s Euro 2016 showing and sanctioned a €40million bid, with the player massively favouring a move to Chelsea, the bigger club.
Batshuayi’s former club Standard Liège are due 35% of any sale through a previous clause, which explains why Marseille have been pushing for such a high fee.
Batshuayi scored 24 goals for Marseille in Ligue 1 last season and has been a real star for them since his move there in 2014.
The Belgium international has already been subject to two bids this summer with the player certain to leave France.
Batshuayi spoke to Sky Sports News HQ last month: “Everybody likes the Premier League. It has a lot of spectacle, a lot of goals and many good players. It is natural that every good player is attracted by that league.”
Marsielle have clearly set their sights on landing €38 million for Batshuayi this summer and may have used Crystal Palace to set their price and force Chelsea to follow up their interest with an official bid, as it seemed the player was never likely to opt for Palace as a realistic destination.
At the tender age of 22 Batshuayi certainly is already a mature clinical presence. He is strong and fast, and he’s quick and deceptive with his feet. He will love the speed of the Premier League. His style of never giving up when chasing down the defence doesn’t go unnoticed, one of his finest traits is his tenacity, his willingness to get up and close with his marker, lure him in and get around him. Being very inexperienced hasn’t played toll on his early career, he has already developed into a very mature and instinctive finisher with fantastic movement in and around the penalty box. His movement is special, he’s able to draw defenders in and beat them at will, this can appear very selfish of Batshuayi because he does try far too much on his own, he can be guilty of not lifting his head and dribble with his head down, a bit similar to the way Alexis Sanchez dribbles.
Juventus are still sniffing around Batshuayi and are in the market for a striker following the sale of Alvaro Morata, Batshuayi was also on Tottenham’s radar as they look to support star striker Harry Kane.
West Ham were another club desperate to land Batshuayi after being priced out of a deal for Alexandre Lacazette, but with Palace and Chelsea having bids accepted they will certainly have to move fast to land their man. Any move is likely to be in vein though with Batshuayi set for a medical with Chelsea as the London club have sent a doctor to France to push through a deal.