Manchester United have reportedly joined Chelsea in the race to sign AS Monaco star Tiemoue Bakayoko.
The 22-year-old defensive midfielder has been a breakout star for Monaco this term and has reportedly been attracting interest from Chelsea. The Daily Record have now claimed that Manchester United are also interested in the young Frenchman.
Bakayoko is a Paris-born defensive midfielder who chose to represent his birthplace France instead of Ivory Coast, despite being eligible to represent either nation. The 22-year-old came through the ranks at Rennes before completing an €8 million transfer to Monaco in July, 2014.
Bakayoko has since become an integral part of the first-team setup for Monaco, featuring in 67 games since making the move to the Stade Louis II. This season though, Bakayoko has hit his best stride of form yet, absolutely bossing the midfield in Ligue 1.
The right-footed defensive midfielder has played 16 of the 19 Ligue 1 games for AS Monaco, scoring two goals in the process. The stability that he provides to the midfield has contributed hugely to Monaco’s superb league form, with Leonardo Jardim’s men in second place, two points adrift of OGC Nice.
Bakayoko has been continuously linked with a move to the Premier League, with Chelsea looking to add him to their ranks as a replacement for Oscar, who recently departed for China. Antonio Conte wants reinforcements to the midfield as the Italian aims to win the Premier League in his debut season in England.
Manchester United have now joined Chelsea in the pursuit, and it’s easy to see why. Morgan Schneiderlin is expected to depart soon, while Bastian Schweinsteiger has been cast out by manager Jose Mourinho. Michael Carrick is also into the twilight years of his career, and the club will be looking to add more midfield options sooner rather than later.
The report has also iterated that Monaco, who had earlier ruled out a January sale for Bakayoko, have reconsidered their position on the 22-year-old amid such heavy interest from the Premier League heavyweights.
There is speculation that Bakayoko might be available for a transfer and the Monaco star seems set to grace the Premier League, perhaps sooner than what was expected earlier.