Arsenal have made contact with the representatives of Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to reports
According to Le 10 Sport, the Gunners have “confirmed to the entourage” of the Monaco midfielder that they are interested in signing the player in the summer. They also claim that the player has rejected a contract offer from Monaco as he wants a higher salary – something we reported earlier this month – which serves as a boost to the clubs interested in him.
Bakayoko has shot to prominence this season after impressing at the heart of Monaco’s midfield as the French side – who are currently top of the table in France – look to break Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance in the Ligue 1.
The 22-year old joined Monaco back in 2014 from Rennes for a fee of €8 million, a figure that definitely looks cheap now. After slowly breaking into the side last season, he has now become one of Monaco’s most important players this season.
A tough-tackling midfielder who has also become known for his driving runs from midfield, Bakayoko has picked up 2 goals and 1 assist in 34 appearances across all competitions this season for Monaco.
He is also registering an average of 2.33 successful takeons, 2,44 tackles won, 2.39 interceptions and 2.06 clearances per 90 minutes in Ligue 1 according to Squawka, which only goes to show just how consistent the Frenchman has been this season.
Bakayoko has been attracting interest from a number of Premier League heavyweights, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all said to be highly interested in the youngster, who was impressive once again as Monaco lost 5-3 to Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League.
Manchester United are looking to build a squad that can compete for all major honours for years to come, and Bakayoko’s age and potential means he can star in their midfield for a long time alongisde Paul Pogba.
Michael Carrick is set to retire and United could definitely use reinforcements in midfield. Chelsea may also have to deal with the departure of Cesc Fabregas and while Bakyoko is not a particularly creative player, the Blues do need reinforcements in midfield.
Chelsea have not had to contend with the rigours of European football this season and do not have a particularly deep squad when it comes to their midfield. Should Nemanja Matic or N’Golo Kante pick up an injury, Antonio Conte will definitely struggle to find replacements so it is no surprise they are looking at the likes of Bakayoko.
Liverpool could also use reinforcements in midfield. Lucas Leiva will likely leave at the end of the season and Emre Can has struggled for both form and fitness this season. The Reds will also likely have to strengthen the squad as it seems likely that they will be competing in the UEFA Champions League next year.
Arsenal’s midfield has been riddled with injuries this season. Santi Cazorla has been out of action since October and after undergoing yet another surgery is likely to miss the rest of the season, and Aaron Ramsey has picked up recurring injuries all season.
Francis Coquelin has been completely unconvincing in Arsenal’s midfield this season and the Gunners could definitely use an upgrade on the Frenchman. Bakayoko definitely looks like he could be the solution to that problem.
What with the news that Bakayoko has rejected a new contract and the fact that he will only have 2 years remaining on his contract at the end of this season, a significant offer could well tempt Monaco to sell the midfielder at the end of the season.