Reports: Chelsea in talks to sign Monaco star
What’s the story?
Chelsea are reportedly in talks for a £42 million move for 22-year-old Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.
While the Blues are looking to bring the defensive midfielder to Stamford Bridge, French giants Paris Saint-Germain have also enquired about him. But Bakayoko has denied a transfer to their rivals and even called the move “impossible.”
In an interview with Canal Football Club, he said, “I can’t leave Monaco to go to PSG. Even though I carry PSG in my heart, the move is impossible, because I’ve just finished champion ahead of Paris.”
In case you didn’t know...
Bakayoko climbed through the youth ranks of French side Stade Rennes before making his debut for the senior team in 2013. His performance for Rennes earned him a £7 million transfer to Monaco in 2014.
He has been a strong presence in the midfield for Monaco and was instrumental for the newly crowned French Champions. The centre-midfielder has had more interceptions per 90 minutes than star midfielder and Premier League Player of the Year N’Golo Kante and Manchester United veteran Michael Carrick this season.
He also played a significant role in taking Monaco to the Champions League semifinals. His goal in the second leg of the Round of 16 fixture against Manchester City knocked the English side out of the tournament.
Bakayoko made his international debut in March in a friendly against Spain where he featured as a substitute.
The heart of the matter
According to The Sun, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte wants to boost his squad ahead of next season’s Champions League and wants to clinch back-to-back Premier League titles.
The league-winning manager has picked Tiemoue Bakayoko to partner N’Golo Kante and energise the squad. The big money transfer speculation means that Nemanja Matic will have to fight for his place in the starting lineup.
The transfer of the ex-Rennes defensive midfielder could open the door for Matic’s exit. Reports suggest that the Serbian is keen to work with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and is eyeing a move to Old Trafford. It is also claimed that both the parties have agreed on personal terms.
United are also planning to bring Monaco right-back Fabinho.
Monaco will have a say in both of the transfers and won't allow losing all their star players after they already lost Bernardo Silva to Manchester City.
It all comes down to Bakayoko’s decision. Should he chose to leave Monaco and join his French teammate Kante at Chelsea, Matic would have fewer minutes to play which could result in a surprise move to Manchester United.
Bakayoko’s contract at Monaco expires in 2019.