Chelsea have reportedly secured pole position in the race to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko from AS Monaco in the summer

French publication L’Equipe have reported that Chelsea have taken the lead in the race to sign AS Monaco midfield dynamo Tiemoue Bakayoko in the summer transfer window. The French midfielder has also been linked with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Monaco have taken French and European football by storm this season, romping to the top of the Ligue 1 table while also making the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. And while the attacking players have grabbed the bulk of the headlines, there is one player whose exploits in the centre of the park have been key for the principality club.

Tiemoue Bakayoko is enjoying a breakthrough campaign with Monaco, working tirelessly to provide cover to the back-four and retaining possession of the ball. The 22-year-old has played 46 times across all competitions for his side this season, and has also chipped in with 3 goals and an assist.

Set for Chelsea move? (Photo courtesy - Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images )

Set for Chelsea move? (Photo courtesy – Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images )

His exploits have also earned him his debut with the French national team, and he is rightly being primed for big things. With Bakayoko being just one of the many stars in the Monaco first-team setup, it goes without saying that some of the biggest clubs in Europe have taken note of his talents.

Premier League club, in particular, have been monitoring his progress for a long time now, with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United linked with him. However, as per the latest report by L’Equipe, Chelsea have raced clear of their rivals in pursuit of the French international.

Chelsea are the favourites to win the Premier League this season, and have already qualified for the Champions League. So, with the Blues set to compete on four fronts next season, Antonio Conte is in need of adding reinforcements in various positions.

Central midfield is one of the priority positions, as the Chelsea boss currently has just N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas to choose from. Bakayoko has, thus, been identified as a viable target for the summer, with Conte keen to deploy him as Kante’s partner in the heart of his side’s midfield.

As 22, Bakayoko also has his best years ahead of him, which can make him a long-term solution in midfield for the Blues. It remains to be seen if Monaco let go of one of their many prized assets, with Conte keen on adding the Frenchman to his squad in the summer.

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