Eden Hazard has urged his Chelsea and Belgium teammate Michy Batshuayi to find playing time — even if it’s away from Stamford Bridge — if the club’s reported move for Swansea’s Fernando Llorente comes to fruition.
Chelsea are in advanced talks with Swansea over a deal for striker Llorente, sources close to the Welsh club have told ESPN FC.
The Premier League champions are yet to lodge a bid for the 32-year-old Spain striker, who played under Blues head coach Antonio Conte at Juventus.
But there is firm interest in a player who has one year remaining on his two-year contract with Swansea and turns 33 in February.
And teammate Hazard suggested Batshuayi’s best chance to continue improving could be with another club.
“I spoke with him about it this morning,” Hazard told a news conference ahead of Belgium’s World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar on Thursday. “He is 23 years old. If he wants to progress, he must play.
“Especially if Chelsea sign Llorente, he will have less playing time.
“I am disappointed for him because he has had a very good preseason.”
Batshuayi, 23, scored the goal at West Brom in May which secured the title last campaign, but has otherwise struggled to make an impact at Stamford Bridge.
Llorente has not played this term due to an arm injury and the Swans will be keen to secure a replacement before selling the striker.
Tammy Abraham, on loan from Chelsea, has been deputising in his absence.
Conte smiled ahead of February’s clash with the Swans when he was asked whether Chelsea had made a January bid for Llorente, who scored 15 goals last season after joining from Sevilla.
Press Association Sport contributed to this report.