Reports: Lille to make audacious €40 million bid for Chelsea star
What's the story?
Chelsea may be a little weak in the striker department (having let most of their best youth products be sold/loaned out - Dominic Solanke and Tammy Abraham, in particular, say hello) and it appears that Ligue 1 side Lille are out to make it even worse.
And no, it's not Diego Costa.
After having a loan bid rejected for Michy Batshuayi, Lille are said to be preparing a rather audacious €40 million bid for the young Belgian striker as per the usually reliable folk at France Football.
Their reasoning is that with €80 million Alvaro Morata the first-choice striker, the Belgian might be tempted by the promise of regular football in a league he loves playing in.
In case you didn't know
Having started off his senior career with Standard Liege, for whom he scored 44 goals in 120 games, he moved on to Ligue 1 and southern giants Marseille where across two seasons he scored 33 goals in 78 games... in his second season, in fact, he smashed in 17 goals in 36 League appearances.
These performances attracted attention from a lot of clubs, and Chelsea won the race to sign the talented Belgian when their €40 million offer was accepted by both club and player.
The heart of the matter
Lille's current crop of strikers include Portugal's Euro 2016 hero Eder, Nicolas de Preville, Ezequiel Ponce and Junior Tallo - all four of whom were bought for a combined value of €13 million and don't inspire much confidence in Lille's aim to better their disappointing 11th placed finish last time around.
A big money signing such as Batshuayi would certainly be a statement of intent from the French side, and would an extra dimension to their attack force.
Boy can play!
While prima facie the deal seems like a win-win for both Lille and Batshuayi, the main thing working against the move is Chelsea's lack of squad depth. With Diego Costa still ostracised by Antonio Conte (and with neither showing any inclination to kiss and make up), the Blues are dangerously short of creative options and it is apparent that Batshuayi will get plenty of chances to prove his calibre this season - in fact, he started the season opener against Burnley, relegating Morata to the bench on his debut appearance at the Bridge.
But if Lille do convince Chelsea that this is a good deal, then their attack will be improved by a young talent whose best years still lie ahead of him.
Besides, if nothing, Lille are guaranteed some proper, genuine, A-grade, twitter gold: