Chelsea have officially announced the signing of Monaco enforcer Tiemoue Bakayoko in a deal believed to be worth £39.7m (€45m). It makes the French international the most expensive midfielder in Chelsea history, surpassing the previous record held by £32m N’Golo Kante.
Bakayoko has signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge and is expected partner Kante at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield as the team looks to retain the Premier League trophy and also challenge on a European front once more after returning to the Champions League.
“I am very happy to be here and to join this great team,” Bakayoko told the club’s official website. “I have grown up watching Chelsea. Signing was the natural thing for me because it is a club I loved very much in my childhood.
“I am now looking forward to evolving under this fantastic coach and alongside so many great team-mates.”
The 22-year-old finished the 2016/17 with a Ligue 1 winner’s medal, while he also helped Monaco all the way to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2004.
It was just Bakayoko’s first season as a regular starter for the principality club. He featured in 51 games overall, 10 more than in the previous two campaigns combined. He had joined Monaco from Rennes in the summer of 2014 while still just a teenager.
Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo welcomed the new signing and claimed his European experience will be of huge benefit to the Blues next season.
“Tiemoue was outstanding as Monaco emerged as one of Europe’s best sides last season and we are delighted to welcome him to Chelsea,” he said.
“Despite his young age he already has plenty of experience as a French title winner and having competed in the latter stages of the Champions League, we believe he will add considerable quality to our squad.”