Napoli are reportedly interested in swooping Tiemoue Bakayoko away from Chelsea as a reunion with Gennaro Gattuso looks likely.
According to a report by Di Marzio, relayed by Goal, Napoli have entered the fray for Tiemoue Bakayoko. The French midfielder, who has also been linked with AC Milan, is the subject of talks between Chelsea and Gli Azzurri after not being included in Frank Lampard’s plans for this season.
Bakayoko joined Chelsea on the back of a stunning 2016/17 season with AS Monaco, which saw the club win the Ligue 1 title and reach the Champions League semi-finals. Bakayoko had been one of the architects of that stupendous success, but has failed to make a mark at Chelsea.
After a season-to-forget at Stamford Bridge, the 26-year-old was shipped out on loan in each of the last two seasons, first to AC Milan then back to Monaco, each on season-long deals. While Bakayoko fared much better at each of those clubs, he does not feature in Frank Lampard’s plans for the season, which is why Chelsea are keen on offloading him this summer.
A move to AC Milan has been mooted for quite some time, with the Rossoneri eager to bring the French midfielder back to San Siro in order to continue their revival, but seem reluctant due to the asking price slapped by Chelsea.
Paris Saint-Germain, too, were keen on signing him on loan, but did not move ahead with the deal, since Chelsea prioritise selling him. Now, though, Napoli have emerged as a possible suitor in the race to sign Bakayoko this summer.
The report claims that Napoli are ready to contact Chelsea for the transfer, with less than five days left before the summer window shuts down. Their manager, Gennaro Gattuso, has specifically asked for him after working with the Frenchman at Milan in 2018/19.
This move makes a lot of sense on paper, especially after Napoli shipped out Allan to Everton. Despite having several midfielders on their payroll, they lack a hardworking midfielder who can operate in a box-to-box capacity – a constant in Gattuso’s teams.
The next three days of the transfer window are going to define Bakayoko’s future this season; he will either be transferred out as Chelsea want for a cut-price fee, or Frank Lampard will be forced to include him in his plans – till January, at the very least.