Arsenal and Liverpool have made an offer for Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to reports.
According to Le10Sport, Arsenal and Liverpool have made a “concrete approach” for the Monaco midfielder, and are interested in signing the French U21 international in January. They also, however, claim that the “Monegasque management would advise both clubs it was unthinkable to sell Bakayoko this winter.”
Chelsea’s interest in the defensive midfielder was first reported in December, with Antonio Conte said to be lining up Bakayoko as a replacement for Oscar, who left for Chinese Super League team Shanghai SIPG in a £60m deal.
Conte, who is on the lookout for players who can strengthen his midfield, was said to be impressed by Bakayoko’s work-rate and commitment on the pitch. The midfielder’s tenacious and tireless displays have caught the attention of the top brass of the Premier League.
Manchester United’s interest also became apparent soon, especially after it was clear Morgan Schneiderlin would be leaving the club – which he now has. Le10 also claim that Jose Mourinho was keeping an eye on the midfielder even when he was manager of Chelsea, so it is no surprise his interest resurfaced earlier this month.
Mourinho, who is looking to build a squad to dominate for years to come, is said to be interested in Bakayoko as he fits the profile of defensive midfielders that Mourinho favours. At 22, Bakayoko could also develop into a midfielder that could play in the middle of the park for Manchester United for years to come.
Bakayoko’s performances in the middle of the park have quickly seen him become one of the most coveted defensive midfielders. An all-round defensive player, Bakayoko is good in the air, great at interceptions and is a tough tackler as well. He has been averaging an impressive 3 tackles, 2.7 interceptions and 1.9 clearances per game across all competitions.
And while he might not be a creative player, Bakayoko’s work-rate means he doesn’t need to be. Bakayoko is at ease sitting back and breaking down opposition attacks, while he lets the flair players do their thing. He is also neat in possession, meaning his teammates can count on him as an option when under pressure, so the pass success rate of 88% suggests.
Arsene Wenger is said to be looking for reinforcements in midfield as the long-term fitness of Santi Cazorla and the uncertainty over Jack Wilshere’s future means he has begun looking at options. Jurgen Klopp is also looking for players to strengthen his squad, as Lucas is unlikely to remain at the club for much longer and Emre Can remains their only specialist defensive midfielder.
Bakayoko would be a great addition to any of the aforementioned clubs, as a squad player, at the very least, if not as a starter. However, it seems Monaco are adamant that they will not sell him in winter and unless a huge offer can tempt them into selling him, it seems unlikely he will move until the summer.