Chelsea have reportedly seen off competition from Manchester United in pursuit of Tiemoue Bakayoko and are set to complete the player’s signing.
According to a report in Sky Sports, Chelsea are set to complete the signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko. The Premier League champions have overcome a late Manchester United charge for the AS Monaco midfielder to secure the services of the player this summer.
Bakayoko enjoyed a sensational rise to prominence in the recently concluded season as he played a key role in Monaco’s shock Ligue 1 triumph. And while their successful campaign was built on the back of prolific attacking performances, Bakayoko was an asset with his solid outings at the centre of the park.
Chelsea close to signing Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. Medical in next few days. Medical & deal delayed because of minor knee surgery
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 10, 2017
The 22-year-old was a mainstay in midfield for Monaco, making a staggering 51 appearances across all competitions while also contributing to his team’s cause with 3 goals and an assist. His performances at the heart of midfield, meanwhile, have seen him capture the attention of several of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Leading the chase to sign Bakayoko, though, are Chelsea and Manchester United, with the Premier League rivals in a head-to-head summer battle to secure his services.
At Chelsea, Antonio Conte is eager to continue building his squad into a formidable unit and has, thus, identified several targets for different positions. Midfield is believed to be one of his priorities, with Nemanja Matic being heavily linked to a departure from Stamford Bridge.
With Chelsea set to compete on four fronts, the addition of Bakayoko can go a long way in ensuring that Conte’s men continue their successful ways and challenge for trophies in the forthcoming season. However, the Blues face stiff competition for the player’s services from Manchester United.
In fact, recent reports have even claimed that the Red Devils have won the race to sign Bakayoko, stealing a march on the Premier League champions for the Frenchman. Jose Mourinho is eager to sign a defensive midfielder for his squad in order to forge a strong unit at Old Trafford.
Only two CMs in Europe’s top 5 leagues won 50+ tackles, 50+ aerial duels and completed 50+ take-ons in 2016/17.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 9, 2017
Therefore, Bakayoko has been eyed by the Portuguese manager in an attempt to add steel to his side’s midfield. The player’s arrival will also provide Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba more freedom to venture forward.
However, the report from Sky Sports is in contrast to the aforementioned suggestion that Manchester United had won the race for Bakayoko. In fact, Sky Sports claim that the France international is set for a medical this week following which he will join his new teammates on their pre-season tour of Asia.
Meanwhile, the Blues continue to remain locked in negotiations with Monaco, with a fee between £35 million and £40 million. It now remains to be seen if Chelsea can indeed end up completing the deal for Bakayoko or if Manchester United usurp them in a way similar to their acquisition of Romelu Lukaku.