Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais are set to sign Chelsea forward Bertrand Traore in the coming weeks, after fending off competition from West Ham United.
According to a report in Transfermarketweb, the Burkina Faso international is all set to join the Ligue 1 side in the summer. He will likely join the Les Gones on loan and as a direct replacement for Alexandre Lacazette, who is widely expected to leave France in the summer.
Traore, who is also rumoured to be a target for Chelsea’s cross town rivals West Ham United, was reported to be a target for Lyon back in November and had even sent representatives to monitor him during a few of Ajax’s matches last season.
The former Auxerre forward has spent the past season on loan with AFC Ajax, where he made 39 appearances across all competitions and helped de Godenzonen to the finals of the UEFA Europa League and a second placed finish in the Eredivisie.
In that time, he scored 13 goals and registered 6 assists across all competitions and was also named in the UEFA Europa League Team Of The Season. Despite having a decent season, he isn’t going to be in Chelsea’s plans for the upcoming season.
Traore was one of the few positives in Chelsea’s disastrous 2015/16 season, where he scored 5 goals in 18 appearances, out of which he started a mere 4 games. He was widely expected to stay on and continue his development at Chelsea after Antonio Conte’s arrival.
However the Italian shipped him off to the Eredivisie, a move that in hindsight, now seems like the right one. Diego Costa’s superb form over the course of the season made him undroppable and it is unlikely that Traore would have gotten the same amount of game time at Stamford Bridge.
But now, Diego Costa is set to exit the club in the summer after revealing that he wasn’t a part of Antonio Conte’s plans, while Michy Batshuayi’s future is still surrounded by uncertainty. Therefore, it is unlikely that Chelsea will finalise the move and make it official without securing proper replacements first.