Chelsea loaning Michy Batshuayi to Crystal Palace but have transfer fee plan

Chelsea misfit Michy Batshuayi is poised to rejoin Crystal Palace on loan.

Batshuayi will sign a new one-year contract extension with the Blues and then return to Selhurst Park, where he scored seven goals in 13 games on loan in 2018-19.

Chelsea had been trying to sell the 26-year-old Belgium striker, who also had interest from Leeds and West Brom.

But he will now spend the season at Palace, who are rebuilding under Roy Hodgson with Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson already signed.

Batshuayi’s existing contract expires next summer but he has agreed to a 12-month extension which protects Chelsea against losing him on a free.

A £33m signing from Marseille in 2016, Batshuayi has struggled for game time under a succession of managers.

He has also spent time on loan at Borussia Dortmund and Valencia, and the arrival of Timo Werner this summer pushed him further down the pecking order.

The deal has implications for youngster Conor Gallagher, whose own short-term move to Palace is now off as they can only take one loanee from Chelsea.

Hodgson has tinkered with a 4-4-2 formation this season, edging away from the 4-3-3 system he has used in the past, which would likely allow more time on the pitch for Batshuayi.

Explaining the decision to shake thing up, Hodgson told Palace TV: “The two true centre forward-type players we have at the club, Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham, are both injured so we have to find other players who can play up front.

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“They (Zaha, Ayew and Schlupp) aren’t particularly centre-forwards by trade. We have to be certain that when we get the ball we play a lot through midfield because we have not got that option of the longer ball up to a target player to hold it up for us.”

“Having two up there has been very useful, it definitely makes us look much more of a goal threat. Fortunately, due to the fact we have been keeping the ball so well and because we are working very hard to get back into shape and keep our discipline defensively, we aren’t looking like we are going to concede a lot of goals either.”

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