An unlikely transfer race has broken out for Chelsea’s Tiemoue Bakayoko as Arsenal will compete for Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain for his signature.
The 24-year-old spent last season on loan at AC Milan after a disappointing first campaign at Stamford Bridge when he signed from Monaco in 2017.
However, an improvement in form with the Serie A club has seen a number of clubs develop an interest in the player that the Blues had no place for last season.
RMC report that Unai Emery is a keen admirer of the midfielder, as is PSG sporting director Leonardo, while Manchester United see him as a potential replacement for Nemanja Matic.
Bakayoko could well still have a future at Chelsea, though, as he is with the squad in Dublin for their pre-season tour and is being assessed by new manager Frank Lampard.
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With the Blues under a transfer ban for this window and the next, Lampard is keen to give every player available to him a chance, and Bakayoko could fight his way back into first team contention.
Lampard takes charge of his first game as Chelsea boss on Wednesday in Dublin when the Blues take on Bohemians, before facing St Patrick’s Athletic on Saturday, Bakayoko will expect to feature.
The 24-year-old commented on his future last month, confirming that he had ‘no choice’ but to return to Chelsea, but had high praise for Leonardo, who brought him to Milan as sporting director at the San Siro.
“[PSG sporting director] Leonardo brought me to Milan, it was he who allowed me to recover my form by putting his trust in me,” said the central midfielder.
“I have a lot of respect for him and Milan. I’m glad he’s coming to Paris, they’re the club of my heart and city.
“I’m sure he’ll do a good job. I wish him the best there. Of course I’d like to play in Paris, I won’t deny it. It means a lot to my loved ones and I. We’re real Parisians.
“My future? Yes, I will go back to Chelsea. I still have a three-year contract.
“I have no choice. I don’t know what will happen after that but I have to go back to Chelsea. It is the only thing I know.”
The France international made 31 league appearances for Milan last season and 42 in all competitions, scoring one goal.