Premier League leaders Chelsea are heading the chase for Monaco starlet Tiemoue Bakayoko despite interest from other top clubs in Europe, according to The Mail on Sunday.
The 22-year-old has been an integral part of the Monaco side which currently leads Ligue 1 by three points and has reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, with the Frenchman having played 29 times in the league, and eight of their European clashes this term.
It was he who got a crucial goal in their 3-1 victory over Manchester City in the last 16 of the Champions League last month to demonstrate his capabilities on the big stage, and his impressive displays in the middle this season has attracted interest from some of Europe’s heavyweights.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich and Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus, whom Bakayoko and his Monaco teammates will face in the last four of the Champions League this week, are thought to be interested in the 22-year-old, but it is Antonio Conte’s Chelsea who lead the pursuit for the midfielder.
The Blues look set to return to Europe’s elite competition next season, which means that Conte needs as strong and as big a squad as possible to deal with the demands of European football, a strain he hasn’t encountered this term.
And although N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic have been outstanding for the West London outfit this season, further reinforcements will be required, and Bakayoko has proven this term to be a hugely talented defensive midfielder who can dominate the middle of the park.
With the Manchester duo also thought to be interested, this looks set to be a fascinating transfer saga, but as it stands it is Chelsea who lead a Europe-wide chase for one of the continent’s most talented midfielders.