According to French outlet RMC Sport, Manchester United are very interested in making a move for Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer.
The report claims that both United and French giants PSG have “entered into contact” with Bakayoko’s representatives over a possible move and that the Red Devils especially have shown “particular intent”.
It adds that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have contacted Chelsea directly to discuss a potential deal, despite the Frenchman returning to pre-season training with the Blues last week.
Whilst Bakayoko’s last dismal outings in English football remain fresh in the memory, the 24-year-old’s revival at Milan could be the making of him next season if he returns to the Premier League with United.
After the former AS Monaco midfielder’s debut campaign at Stamford Bridge ended, the overriding feeling was that the Blues had been massively duped out of £40m.
So when he was shipped out on loan to Milan, it was perhaps regarded as inevitable that his one solitary year with Chelsea might be his first and last experience in English football. Instead, his return to form last season at the San Siro could see him develop into an even better player for United.
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In 37 appearances for Milan, Bakayoko averaged 2.3 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game; a clear reminder that he was back to his best in a defensive midfield role. Indeed, his much-maligned and ridiculed passing was also significantly better, registering a fine 86.6% pass accuracy. At United, playing as the side’s sole midfield anchor could see him get back to doing what he does best – breaking up the play, then moving it on.
Perhaps even more crucial than the stats are the intangibles that come up with Bakayoko’s potential arrival. That age-old chip on the shoulder. The 6 foot 1 Frenchman was left “disappointed” by failing to break into Maurizio Sarri’s plans last summer and there is likely a nagging feeling that he was deemed not quite good enough by his parent club.
He would therefore arrive at Old Trafford with a point to prove and that could see him step his game up another notch for a United side that desperately need a lift. Heading to the Blues’ Premier League rivals could see him deliver a damning statement of the west London side’s decision by producing stand-out performances week-in and week-out.