11 July 2017
Chelsea are close to completing their third first-team signing of the summer with AS Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko set to have a medical this week.
Willy Caballero and Antonio Rudiger have already joined the Blues from Manchester City and AS Roma respectively.
The midfielder was scheduled to have a medical earlier, but it was delayed as he was yet to recover from a minor knee surgery he had earlier in the summer.
According to Sky Sports, Bakayoko, who is also a target for Manchester United, will have a medical this week and could be available to travel with Antonio Conte’s squad for their pre-season tour of China and Singapore next week.
The two clubs, however, are yet to agree on a fee, but it is expected to be around £35m to £40m ($51.6m) for the 22-year-old, who played a key role in the Ligue 1 club’s title-winning campaign last season.
Bakayoko has been on Conte’s radar since the start of the summer as he looks to add more steel to his midfield ahead of their return to the Champions League next season.
Bakayoko is expected to form a partnership with compatriot N’Golo Kante in a new-look midfield, which could jeopardise the latter’s current partner Nemanja Matic’s future at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho is also looking for a defensive midfielder to allow Paul Pogba more freedom in attack and has been heavily linked to Bakayoko and Matic.
According to the Daily Mail, the Red Devils have made an approach for Bakayoko, while other reports suggest that the Portuguese manager is keen on a reunion with the Serbian midfielder.
Bakayoko’s arrival to Stamford Bridge could see Matic’s exit expedited, but Chelsea will be reluctant to do business with a direct rival especially after United recently put their transfer plans in disarray after signing Romelu Lukaku, who was favourite to join Chelsea up until last week.