LONDON -- Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said he is happy to keep Michy Batshuayi for the rest of the season but will allow him to decide his future if another striker arrives at Stamford Bridge.
Batshuayi scored twice as Chelsea beat Newcastle 3-0 at Stamford Bridge to book their place in the FA Cup fifth round, but could still leave on loan in the final days of the January window if Roma striker Edin Dzeko comes in.
Conte believes Chelsea need no fewer than three strikers -- currently Batshuayi, Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard operating as a false No. 9 -- to compete in multiple competitions, but is aware of Batshuayi 's desire to play regularly and secure a place in the Belgium World Cup squad.
"If you see our squad, we don't have three, four or five strikers, we have two," he said. "Morata is out [injured], or sometimes I play with Hazard. He is a different striker but sometimes I play in this way.
"The striker has to work for the team in the best way, and he [Batshuayi] has improved a lot in this way.
"I don't know what will happen [with a loan], but when you have to play in the Champions League and FA Cup, three strikers is the minimum. Then we have to see what will happen in the transfer market.
"We are talking about [signing] another player, but I don't know if we can."
Asked about Batshuayi's World Cup ambitions, Conte added: "Every player wants to play to try to push for the competition. This is another situation.
"If the club decides to add another player, I don't know if Michy wants to stay or go on loan. This is a player decision, not mine."
Batshuayi's performance came at a crucial time for Chelsea, with Morata sidelined by a back injury and a busy fixture schedule taking its toll.
"I don't know if it was his best game, but it was important for him and the team," Conte said. "To score is important for the confidence.
"We are talking about a young player with a great potential. Michy is a player I have worked with for one year and a half, a powerful player who has a lot of room for improvement.
"I am very happy for him and the team. Now we have to continue in this way and it is important to recover."
Conte made just four changes to the team that lost against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup and fielded Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante, explaining that his selection reflected the importance of the FA Cup to Chelsea this season.
"Today I showed that for me the most important thing is the present, not the future," he said. "Otherwise I would have taken other choices."