Chelsea are in danger of being beaten by Manchester United to another one of their targets with Tiemoue Bakayoko close to an Old Trafford switch.
According to a report in The Sun, Chelsea could frustratingly lose another of their primary targets of the summer transfer window. The Premier League champions are facing a potential hijack from Manchester United for AS Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.
The move would come in the wake of Romelu Lukaku’s imminent transfer to the record English champions as the Red Devils stole a march on Chelsea for the Belgian striker.
Bakayoko was one of the standout performers for AS Monaco in the 2016/17 season as the principality club enjoyed a sensational campaign, claiming a shock Ligue 1 triumph ahead of PSG, whilst also reaching the semifinals of the Champions League.
While the attacking players grabbed the limelight with their prolific performances, Bakayoko managed to establish himself as an instrumental figure in Leonardo Jardim’s side with his stellar performances at the centre of the park.
— MUFC News & Rumours (@mufcnews_AP) July 8, 2017
A mainstay in midfield, the player amassed a staggering 51 appearances for Monaco last season, impressing everyone with his work-rate. Needless to say, his stock has constantly been on the rise in the last few months, with some of the biggest clubs in Europe vying for his signature.
The two clubs that have consistently been the front-runners in Bakayoko’s pursuit are Chelsea and Manchester United, both of whom have traded blows in their attempts to land the player.
At Chelsea, Antonio Conte currently has the likes of N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas as his only recognised options. Matic, though, is being heavily linked to a summer exit from Stamford Bridge and with the Blues set to compete on four fronts, reinforcements in midfield are necessary.
Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, too, is eyeing Bakayoko with his squad lacking an out-and-out defensive midfielder. While Ander Herrera was deployed in the role at time last season, he flourishes as a box-to-box midfielder and Bakayoko’s arrival will provide him and Paul Pogba the freedom to venture forward.
Chelsea, though, seemed to be leading the race to sign Bakayoko, having been locked in negotiations with Monaco over the player’s move for several weeks. However, the French champions are believed to have grown frustrated at the Blues’ inability to complete the move.
Therefore, Manchester United have now stormed ahead of Chelsea in pursuit of Bakayoko as a deal for Matic looks unlikely. With Chelsea’s move for Bakayoko unlikely to go through, the Red Devils now have the chance to snap him up this summer to acquire the long-awaited defensive midfielder.
It now remains to be seen if Manchester United are able to steal a march on Chelsea to secure the services of Bakayoko in the summer, or if Chelsea are able to complete the move for the player instead.