West London Sport

Batshuayi ‘in contention to play’ despite doubts over future

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Alvaro Morata, David Luiz and Willian have been ruled out of Chelsea’s game against Bournemouth but Antonio Conte says Michy Batshuayi is “in contention” to play despite reports the striker is in line for a loan move.

Blues boss Conte says Luiz has an ankle problem and that Morata and Willian are still recovering from their respective injuries.

Cesc Fabregas and keeper Thibaut Courtois, though, have been passed fit to return to the squad.

Morata has been struggling with a back problem, while Willian went off with a hamstring injury during the recent Carabao Cup semi-final defeat at Arsenal.

Neither injury is seen as serious and both players were expected to return for Wednesday’s game at Stamford Bridge.

But Conte said: “Morata, Luiz and Willian are out. The other players are available.

“Luiz is injured since two days before the game against Newcastle.

“He has an injury in his ankle. He’s trying to recover and needs a bit of time to recover.”

Batshuayi has been widely tipped to leave on loan, possibly to German club Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who looks set to join Arsenal.

But Conte insisted: “Now he is a Chelsea player and for this reason he is in contention for tomorrow’s game – also because we have Morata who is injured and I don’t have other options, especially with Willian injured.”