Chelsea have won the race to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko after the midfielder chose the Premier League champions over other interested clubs which included Manchester United and Liverpool.

Antonio Conte has made signing a midfielder one of his priorities this summer and has identified the France international as the perfect candidate to strengthen his midfield as they prepare to return to the Champions League next season.

According to French publication L'Equipe, Bakayoko chose Chelsea over other suitors owing to the presence of Conte with whom he believes he can work well and improve his game. The two clubs are yet to agree on a transfer fee with the report claiming that AS Monaco have asked the Blues to improve their initial €30m (£26.2m, $33.5m) offer with the club valuing him more around the €45m mark.

Chelsea were said to have cooled their interest in Bakayoko after facing trouble with his representatives and had identified Corentin Tolisso as an alternative. The latter has now joined Bayern Munich and the Blues along with Bakayoko are said to be keen on completing the move.

Bakayoko
L'Equipe

The 22-year-old defensive midfielder's arrival could put Nemanja Matic's future at Chelsea in further doubt. The Serbian midfielder, who played in the deep lying role alongside N'Golo Kante last season has been linked with a move away with Jose Mourinho said to be keen on a reunion. It is unclear if the Conte will allow him to join a direct rival, but he is likely to push for a move away as Bakoyoko's arrival will eat into his game time.

Chelsea are yet to make any additions thus far and reports on Friday suggested that the Italian manager is frustrated at the lack of activity in the transfer market. He is keen to bolster his squad to challenge on all fronts next season and has reportedly threatened to quit the club if his demands are not met.