Chelsea are on the verge of completing their first signing of the summer after agreeing on a fee with Monaco for the transfer of 22-year-old midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. The youngster received his first call-up to the French national team earlier this year against Spain, where he made his first senior appearance.
The Daily Mail reports that the Blues have agreed to a £35.2m ($45m) fee with Monaco for the midfielder and a deal should be announced in the next few days. The French midfielder has attracted interest from a number of clubs across Europe with Manchester United among his list of established followers. The 22-year-old played 43 games in the defensive midfield position and contributed with three goals.
The Manchester Evening News reported that Bakayoko was willing to join Jose Mourinho at United but now it seems like a decision has been made, with the midfielder set to embark on a new journey at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have been closely negotiating with Bakayoko's representatives for several weeks in order to convince the midfielder to move to London. The Blues have managed to fend off competition from the likes of United, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in securing his signature.
Antonio Conte is a huge admirer of the Monaco youngster and is likely to pair him alongside his compatriot N'Golo Kante in midfield to afford more cover to his defence next season. His imminent arrival will raise concern over Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas' future at the club. Matic has been heavily linked with a move to United but there has been no concrete decision over his future.
However, not everyone is thrilled with the impending transfer, with former Bluesmidfielder and assistant manager Ray Wilkins expressing disappointment at the pursuit, stating that homegrown product Nathaniel Chalobah could easily have been promoted into the first team.
"I was really disappointed to read they are looking at Bakayoko from Monaco," he told Talksport. "He is 22 years of age, French and doesn't get near the national side, but it was quoted Chelsea might be paying £32m.