David Luiz And Michy Batshuayi Can Leave Chelsea In January If They Wish
Antonio Conte has suggested he will not stand in the way of David Luiz or Michy Batshuayi if either player decides they want to leave Chelsea this month
But head coach Conte has insisted that Chelsea cannot afford to let anybody go without replacing them, even though he will not be hitting the phones in a bid to get deals across the line during this month’s transfer window.
Central defender Luiz is close to returning from injury but has dropped behind Andreas Christensen in Conte’s plans since falling out with the Italian earlier in the season.
Striker Batshuayi has started only two Premier League games this term and Conte has preferred to play Eden Hazard as a ‘false nine’ ahead of the Belgian when Alvaro Morata has been out.
Batshuayi is not unhappy at Chelsea but wants to play enough to be sure of his place in Belgium’s World Cup squad, while Luiz will not be satisfied with returning from injury to the substitutes’ bench.
“I was a player, I will understand if someone is worried about the World Cup,” said Conte. “I understand it’s very important to keep players very happy to stay here to work with us and I think this must be our priority. To keep the players happy to stay with us, to continue to work with us. At the same time, I was a player and I will understand if someone is thinking in this way (that they need to play more).”
But Conte added: “Our squad is not big and for this reason, I think it’s impossible to send on loan one player or to sell one player if we don’t take another player.”
But Conte would prefer not to risk any disquiet behind the scenes if Luiz, Batshuayi, or any other Chelsea player, decides they want to leave Stamford Bridge this month.
Conte said: “I prefer to have players very happy to stay here than to have players that are unhappy because when you are unhappy you transfer this to the other players, to me, to my staff and I don’t like this. If we can avoid this, I’d like to avoid this situation.”