Chelsea are reportedly set to beat Manchester United in the race to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko from AS Monaco in the summer.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Chelsea remain in discussions with AS Monaco over a potential £43 million deal for Tiemoue Bakayoko. The Blues are confident of beating Manchester United to the Frenchman, with the aforementioned deal likely to see either Michy Batshuayi or Charly Musonda moving to Stade Louis II.
Bakayoko was one of the standout performers for Monaco in a campaign that saw the club take European and French football by storm. Leonardo Jardim’s men clinched the Ligue 1 title by a comfortable eight-point margin while also making the semifinals of the Champions League.
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Bakayoko was one of the mainstays for the side over the course of the season, with 51 appearances in all competitions. The Frenchman made an impression with his work-rate, while also using his strength to good effect to keep things tight at the centre of the park.
Having played a key role in Monaco’s success this season, Bakayoko is now starting to attract interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Premier League outfits, in particular, have taken a liking to the player, with Chelsea and Manchester United the most heavily linked clubs.
At Chelsea, Antonio Conte currently has N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas as his recognised options at the heart of midfield. But, with the Blues set to compete in four competitions next season, the Italian needs to bolster his options across the park.
Midfield is believed to be a priority for the Chelsea boss and he has, thus, reportedly identified Bakayoko as one of his top targets. However, Manchester United are providing stiff competition in the race to sign the France international, with the Red Devils reportedly prioritising the addition of a midfielder as well.
Jose Mourinho has the likes of Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick as his options in midfield. But his squad lacks an out and out defensive midfielder. Hence, the Manchester United boss is believed to be eyeing Bakayoko for a move in the summer transfer window.
However, Chelsea have been engaged in negotiations for Bakayoko with Monaco for a long time now, and Conte is set to begin talks with the player himself in the coming days, in what is a sign that the Blues are the most likely to secure his services.
Monaco, though, have asked the newly-crowned Premier League champions to include either Michy Batshuayi or Charly Musonda as part of a £43 million deal for Bakayoko. The report suggests that Musonda is the likelier of the two to be part of the deal, with the Belgian unlikely to be a part of Conte’s plans for next season.
So, it looks likely that Chelsea will snap up Bakayoko, as they are ready to offer Musonda plus cash in the deal to land the Monaco star. Manchester United, meanwhile, will have to set their sights elsewhere to add a defensive midfielder this summer.