LONDON -- Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed that forward Bertrand Traore will spend this season on loan at Ajax after signing a new three-year deal at Stamford Bridge.
The Italian stressed that the 20-year-old, who scored his first senior goal in the 5-1 FA Cup win at MK Dons last season, remained a big part of his future plans.
Traore, one of the few bright sparks in Chelsea's disastrous Premier League title defence, was given his debut by interim manager Guus Hiddink and ended the campaign with four goals despite being mostly used as a substitute.
The arrival of Michy Batshuayi from Marseille in a £33 million deal this summer has pushed Traore down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, and on Thursday Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the 20-year-old was on the verge of a season-long move to Ajax.
And in his first Friday news conference as Chelsea manager, Conte said he wanted Traore to get the regular first-team football needed for his continued development.
"It's confirmed," Conte added. "He's a good player, but together with the club we prefer him to have a season to play every game, and then to come back. He's a good prospect for Chelsea."
Chelsea also confirmed on Friday that Traore had put pen to paper on the new deal, which ties him to the club until June 2019.
The loan to Ajax will see him reunited with Peter Bosz, the coach who worked with him for two productive seasons on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, when he scored 20 goals in 51 appearances.
Trare's departure leaves Conte with just Diego Costa, Batshuayi and Loic Remy to call upon as senior strikers, but Chelsea remain interested in re-signing Romelu Lukaku from Everton.