Chelsea's protracted move for AS Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko looks to be nearing the end with a £35m ($44.3m) deal said to be close to being finalised between the two clubs.

Antonio Conte has made the France midfielder one of his priority targets this summer as he looks to bolster his midfield ahead of Chelsea's return to the Champions League next season. Bakayoko's imminent arrival is likely to signal the end of Nemanja Matic's time at Stamford Bridge with the Serbian keen to reunite with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

Bakayoko enjoyed a fine season with Monaco last season, having played a key role in helping them to their first Ligue 1 title in 20 years as well as the semi-finals of the Champions League. The 22-year-old's performances attracted interest from a number of clubs, including the Red Devils, but the midfielder is said to be keen to work with Conte at Chelsea.

According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League champions are close to completing a move for the France international, and his arrival will open the door for Matic to complete his desired move to United. The two midfielders operate in a similar position and it is unlikely that both will be retained by Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho is a big admirer of the Serbia international and it was the Portuguese manager who brought him back to Stamford Bridge in 2014 after he was sold by Chelsea in 2011 as part of their deal to sign David Luiz from Benfica.

United are in the market for a defensive midfielder with Matic one of their main targets along with Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier. AS Monaco star Fabinho was also linked with a move to Old Trafford, but the club have dismissed their interest in the Brazilian.

Tiemoue Bakayoko
Nemanja Matic
Chelsea's move for Bakayoko (L) could signal the end of Matic's time at Stamford Bridge (Getty)

The 20-time English champions have already completed the signing of centre-back Victor Lindelof from Benfica and are now in the process of strengthening other areas of the squad. Mourinho has targeted a midfielder and a forward with Alvaro Morata and Ivan Perisic among the candidate being touted for a move to the Old Trafford club before the end of the summer transfer window.