Jan 12 2017
Manchester United are reportedly ready to beat Chelsea to the signature of Monaco star Tiemoue Bakayoko.
The 22 year old who has 13 caps for the France Under 21 side plays primarily as a defensive midfielder and is valued at around £40m (€46m) by his club. He is also rumoured to be on Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s wish list according to an exclusive report last month in the Times.
Whilst United would be happy to wait until the summer to get Bakayoko, Chelsea’s interest has forced them to make their move mid-season with Mourinho determined to beat his former club to the player who is yet to be capped by the senior French national team.
With Morgan Schneiderlin close to completing his move to Everton and Bastian Schweinsteiger frozen out of the first team, Bakayoko is seen as a player who could come in and make an immediate impact for United this month. Long term, he is seen as a possible replacement for veteran Michael Carrick by United manager Jose Mourinho.
Bakayoko has been a key part of Monaco’s excellent start to the season and whether they will allow him to leave in January remains to be seen.
The former Rennes man has appeared 27 times for the side currently 2nd in Ligue 1 and with a huge Champions League tie with Manchester City coming up next month, the French side may be reluctant to part with their man who has also chipped in with 2 goals so far this season.
The arrival of Bakayoko would be further evidence of Mourinho’s desire to put his own stamp on the United squad and bring in his own players as soon as possible. With Schneiderlin expected to be followed through the Old Trafford exit by Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay the United boss is quickly banishing the uninspiring Louis Van Gaal era from the memory at Old Trafford.
At 22 Bakayoko has his peak years ahead of him and even though £40m seems an extortionate sum for an uncapped player, the United board have already shown their willingness to back the manager financially as he looks to rebuild the squad he inherited last summer.