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Chelsea Striker Issues Play Me Or Sell Me Ultimatum

Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has said he cannot afford to spend another season on the bench but the club “are the boss” when it comes to deciding his future beyond this summer.

Premier League champions Chelsea face some big decisions over strikers, with Diego Costa’s future uncertain and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku reportedly keen on a return to Stamford Bridge.

Batshuayi, signed from Marseille for £33 million last July, made just one Premier League start last season but came off the bench to score the goal that confirmed Chelsea as Premier League champions against West Brom in May.

A loan spell elsewhere in the Premier League is the most likely next step for Batshuayi, whose priority is to ensure a place in Belgium’s squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The 23-year-old, asked whether he could accept another season outside the starting XI, said: “No, no, no. Everyone knows that I have to play more, that I have to score goals.

“There’s a World Cup coming up next year. I want to be ready for the World Cup.”

But he said he would not demand a move, adding: “I’m not going to ask anything. I’m going to listen to what they are saying.

“They are the boss, not me. And afterwards I’ll discuss it with my agent and the club. Amicably, as friends, of course.

“A loan? That’s not up to me. That’s up to them [Chelsea]. They take the decisions, not me.”

Costa’s presence as the focal point of Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system has been the primary reason for Batshuayi’s lack of opportunities.

“Diego is a top player who has scored a lot of goals at the highest level,” Batshuayi said. “I’m still young. I’ve learned a lot from him.

“I have lived difficult moments, but it’s in times like those that you learn the most. I haven’t played a lot, but I managed to score one of the most important goals. It gave me a boost. Good for me, good for the team.

“Of course I wanted to play more. And of course I wanted to score more goals. That’s normal. All players want that. But we have become champions. It’s really good for me, a wonderful experience.”