Tiemoue Bakayoko is open to a summer move to Manchester United if they qualify for the Champions League

According to a report in the Manchester Evening News, Tiemoue Bakayoko is interested in a summer move to Manchester United if the Red Devils qualify for the Champions League. The AS Monaco midfielder is also being tailed by Chelsea and Arsenal.

Bakayoko has enjoyed a sensational rise to prominence this season with Monaco, with the club taking French football by storm with their trailblazing performances. Replacing skipper Jeremy Toulalan in the first team setup, he has become a mainstay in the Monaco midfield following his solid outings all through the season.

Although primarily a midfielder, Bakayoko has also made an impact in attack with his driving runs, scoring three goals while assisting one in 41 matches across all competitions this season. Surely enough, he is starting to become a highly sought after player.

The likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have all been heavily linked with Bakayoko in recent months, having had him scouted on several occasions over the course of the season.

Arsene Wenger has as many as six central midfielders at his disposal at the Emirates, but while Santi Cazorla has been troubled by a spate of injuries, others have failed to make much of an impression, having blown hot and cold all through the season.

With no clarity on Jack Wilshere’s future with Arsenal beyond this season, a sort of a central-midfield crisis is starting to develop at the Emirates, and there’s a genuine need to buy a top quality midfielder.

Will it be Manchester or London for Bakayoko? (Photo courtesy - Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images)

Will it be Manchester or London for Bakayoko? (Photo courtesy – Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Manchester United have seen Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger depart from Old Trafford in the last three months, while Michael Carrick is also approaching the end of his glittering career.

There is an urgent need to replace Carrick as soon as possible, as Manchester United ought not to make the same mistake they did in their failure to replace Paul Scholes. And while Bakayoko is not a like-for-like replacement, he does bring defensive solidity and positional sense to the plate – qualities that will allow Paul Pogba to thrive in advanced positions.

Chelsea, meanwhile, were believed to be the front runners in the race to sign Bakayoko with reports claiming that Chelsea have tabled a formal offer to sign him, having also agreed personal terms with the player.

Indeed, with Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas being linked with moved away from Stamford Bridge in the summer, Bakayoko can be a valuable addition in Antonio Conte’s squad.

However, if the latest reports are anything to go by, Manchester United could be holding the aces in the race to sign Bakayoko, with the 22-year-old interested in a possible move as well. They do have to make the Champions League though, as playing in the competitions is a top priority for the Frenchman.

Manchester United currently sit fifth in the Premier League table, four points behind Liverpool but with two games in hand. Alternatively, they can also qualify for Champions League by winning the Europa League if they fail to make the Top 4, but they will have to overcome three more opponents before doing that.

It now remains to be seen if Manchester United indeed qualify for the Champions League to succeed in securing the services of Bakayoko, and if Chelsea and Arsenal can do anything to solidify their cases.

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