Chelsea are confident of beating Manchester United to the signing of summer transfer target Tiemoue Bakayoko, as they look to strengthen a brittle squad for the additional challenge of a Champions League campaign this season.
MailOnline Sport report that the Blues are in talks with the Ligue 1 champions over a possible £43m move for the defensive-minded midfielder, with Antonio Conte looking to take some of the pressure off N’Golo Kante after a season which saw the former Leicester man win his second straight Premier League title – and the league’s Player of the Season award to boot.
With the French champions’ squad being systematically dismantled by rivals around Europe with more prestige and greater financial resources, they have come back to the Blues to ask for either Michy Batshuayi or Charly Musonda as part of a swap deal.
Bernardo Silva’s €50m move to Manchester City last week is expected to be the first of many departures from the principality, with Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy, Fabinho, Thomas Lamar and Kylian Mbappe all strongly linked with transfers to various Champions League sides.
Bakayoko’s proposed switch to Chelsea could set off a chain reaction between the trio of clubs involved in the battle, with United ready to move for either Fabinho or Blues midfielder Nemanja Matic – who could see his role reduced with the arrival of the France Under-21 international.
Jose Mourinho has been linked with a move for his former Blues charge in recent days as he looks to add more solidity to the spine of his team, with Matic one of the players he still has a good working relationship with from his second spell at Stamford Bridge.
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