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Tottenham dealt transfer blow after top striker target poached by Chelsea

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Tottenham just lost its top transfer target to Chelsea. Again.

Hungary v Belgium - Round of 16: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Tottenham’s top transfer target is now off the board. Hours after reports circulated that Olimpique Marseille had accepted a £32m bid from Crystal Palace for striker Michy Batshuayi, French daily L’Equipe is now reporting, with corroboration from several noted football journalists, that Marseille and Chelsea have agreed to a deal for Batshuayi that will see Michy join the Blues.

The news was also corroborated by Gianluca Di Marzio and Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur:

The L’Equipe article is behind a paywall, but the preview says enough: subject to a medical, the deal is for five years and reported to be €40m (£33.2m) plus a bonus. L’Equipe also points out that this fee is larger than what Chelsea paid for Didier Drogba (though with inflation and the amount of money now in football that’s not as meaningful a statistic as what it might sound).

Batshuayi was always at or near the top of Tottenham’s striker wish list, and even as of this morning it appeared that Spurs were probably the team that would end up signing him if they wanted to. While Spurs had apparently cooled on OM’s £32m valuation, Chelsea have no such financial restrictions. And despite the fact that Chelsea aren’t even in Europe this coming year, when you’re a young, talented player like Michy Batshuayi and Chelsea comes calling, you listen.

Obviously, this means that Spurs are now going to turn their attention back to AZ Alkmaar’s Vincent Janssen and Roma’s Antonio Sanabria. If the Batshuayi saga was what was preventing Spurs from pulling the trigger on either of those guys, well, that ship has now sailed. Who knows, maybe it’s possible that this will prompt Spurs to make a serious bid for one (or both!) of those players.

I can’t tell you how irritating it is to once again have Chelsea swoop in and snag another top Spurs target. This isn’t quite like getting Willian’d, but Lord does it suck.