Antonio Conte wanted to sell Michy Batshuayi this summer but was overruled by the club’s board, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Italian was at loggerheads with the Chelsea hierarchy over the summer as the Premier League champions missed out on several of their manager’s key targets, including Alex Sandro and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Reports now claim Conte, whose side have gone three games without a win in all competitions ahead of Saturday’s game against Watford, was also blocked from cashing on Batshuayi just one year on from spending £33million on the Belgium international.
Tottenham reportedly made an enquiry for the former Marseille striker but Chelsea instead opted to retain Batshuayi’s services as their back-up to club-record signing Alvaro Morata, but missed out on Conte’s choice Fernando Llorente, who ultimately joined Spurs.
Chelsea also decided to loan out England Under-21 striker Tammy Abraham who has since scored five goals since moving to Swansea, including two goals in last weekend’s win over Huddersfield, much to club legend Frank Lampard’s annoyance.
‘For Chelsea as a club, yes it is a mistake,’ Lampard told BT Sport. ‘
It’s not [a mistake] for Tammy as I don’t think he would have played so many games. Now you see him playing regularly and he is improving as a player.
‘Chelsea could say ‘we didn’t feel Tammy was going to play’, if you say Morata was fit all season then it is great experience for him and he comes back next season as a well-rounded player.
‘But now Morata is injured it seems a mistake. You can’t have it both ways. I know I’ve sat on the fence there but you improve the individual by sending him on loan, but as a club now you go ‘maybe we could have kept him’.’