Newcastle United have identified Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi as a potential transfer target according to the Daily Mirror.
The Belgian forward has had a mixed time at Stamford Bridge going from scoring the goal that secured the Premier League title in 2017 to being sent out on loan to three separate clubs.
It is now thought that Batshuayi is one of a list of transfer targets being considered by the Toon but they will face competition from West Ham and his former club Crystal Palace for his signature.
Chelsea have reportedly set a £40m asking price for Batshuayi who has scored 25 goals in 77 appearances for the Blues since signing for the London club in 2016.
This means that Newcastle will have to wait until their long-awaited takeover is complete before making their move as it is unlikely a transfer for this amount of money will be sanctioned while Mike Ashley is still at the helm.
What went wrong at Chelsea?
With Chelsea set to secure the services of Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, Batshuayi has found himself surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.
Having already fallen behind Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud in the pecking order the addition of a world-class forward like Werner has meant that he is unlikely to get many opportunities at the club.
Batshuayi joined the Blues after an impressive spell in France that saw him net 23 goals for Marseille in the 2015/16 season.
Chelsea paid the French club £33m for his services and he continued his good form at Euro 2016 and was on the scoresheet for Belgium in their 4-0 drubbing of Hungary.
Following the tournament, he started life in England fairly comfortably. His engaging and charismatic off-the-pitch persona in interviews and on social media quickly endeared ‘The Batman’ to Chelsea faithful.
And Batshuayi contributed on the pitch too. While Diego Costa was Chelsea’s main striker Batshuayi chipped in with nine goals throughout the season as they became champions under Antonio Conte.
This included the goal that sealed the Premier League title in a win over West Brom.
However, he failed to make much of an impact after this. He scored just twice in the league the following season and found himself on loan in Germany with Borussia Dortmund for the second half of the campaign.
Loan spells at Valencia and Crystal Palace followed in 2018/19 and while he scored goals he was unable to convince either club that he was worth investing in long-term.
This season felt like now or never for Batshuayi at Chelsea. A new regime under Frank Lampard meant a clean slate for everyone.
But the emergence of Abraham and experience of Giroud has meant he’s been restricted of opportunities.
Scoring the winner against Ajax in the Champions League did him no harm but with just a solitary Premier League goal to his name the writing was on the wall.
Batshuayi at Newcastle?
With Batshuayi clearly needing a new challenge a move to Newcastle may just suit all parties.
If the takeover does, as expected, get over the line then he will be joining a very different Newcastle to the one that we’ve been used to over the last decade or so.
The club will have the financial backing to challenge the top six and be able to attract a different caliber of footballer. As has been evidenced with the list of players they’ve recently been linked with.
Newcastle fans are well known for worshipping their forwards. While he can add width if necessary Batshuayi strengths lie in the central striker role. A position Newcastle has failed to competently fill recently.
A quick look at their current squad shows just one Premier League goal from an out and out striker. This goal came from summer signing Joelinton when he netted the winner against Tottenham in August but since then he’s been devoid of confidence and quality.
In the Premier League, Newcastle’s top scorer is Jonjo Shelvey with five showing that goalscoring is one of the Toon’s biggest areas of improvement.
While Batshuayi has struggled to make his mark at Chelsea he knows where the goal is and a move to the North-East may be the fresh start he needs.