London (Guardian) Chelsea have acted with ruthless efficiency to secure the Belgium forward, Michy Batshuayi, from Marseille in a deal worth an initial €40 million (S$62.4 million) as they seek to kickstart a busy summer of squad strengthening at Stamford Bridge.
Batshuayi, who scored in his country's 4-0 win over Hungary at Euro 2016 on Sunday, had been the subject of bids from West Ham and Juventus earlier this summer before Crystal Palace had a €38 million offer accepted by the Marseille president, Vincent Labrune, on Monday.
However, the player always had reservations about moving to Selhurst Park and, while Chelsea cannot offer European football next season, their late and surprise entry into the auction effectively turned his head.
The 22-year-old is expected to be granted special dispensation to leave the Belgium squad, preparing for Friday's quarter-final against Wales in Lille, and undertake a medical on Wednesday before signing a five-year contract with Chelsea.
He will become Antonio Conte's first signing for the club and, while his arrival eases the pressure to add further to the front-line, there remains the possibility the London club could maintain their pursuit of Spain's Alvaro Morata, now back at Real Madrid , as they seek to bolster their options. Morata would cost in the region of £40 million (S$78.9 million), but any interest in re-signing Romelu Lukaku appears to have petered out.
Batshuayi scored 17 goals in Ligue 1 last season and will become the most expensive sale in Marseille's history, eclipsing the fee they raised when selling Didier Drogba to Chelsea back in 2004, though the player's former club, Standard Liege, are due 35 per cent of the fee through a previous clause.
He departs the Stade Velodrome having scored 33 goals in 78 appearances for the club. His former Marseille team-mate, the France goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, is expected to join Palace under the Bosman Ruling later this week despite late interest from Everton in securing his signature.
Chelsea are committed to adding at least four high-profile names to their ranks this summer but, as yet, have been frustrated in their pursuit of Batshuayi's international team-mate, the Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan .
They intend to purchase an elite centre-half in the weeks ahead with Conte due to take up the reins formally at the club upon the conclusion of Italy's participation at Euro 2016.