Chelsea win the battle for £40m Bakayoko

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Chelsea have agreed a £40 million deal with Monaco for Tiemoue Bakayoko and expect to complete the transfer tomorrow following a medical. Standard Sport revealed this week Chelsea were determined to fight off late competition from Manchester United for the midfielder and buy him before departing for their Far east tour on Tuesday.

Bakayoko has been Antonio Conte’s first-choice midfield target for several months. Chelsea has hopped to finalise terms before the start of preseason training but the medical was cancelled due to the 22 year old recovering from a minor knee operation.

The Blues thought they could get their man for £35m but the delay and the threat posed by United, who beat them to Romelu Lukuku, increased the price. While Chelsea are confident Bakayoko’s injury will not stop him passing the medical, there are doubts whether he will be fit for their first game of the season against Burnley on August 12.

The transfer will help appease coach Conte, who has been frustrated that the club have acquired only Willy Coballero and Antonio Rudiger. Bakayoko’s arrival should hasten the departure of Nemanja Matic, The midfielder wants to leave, although Chelsea do not want to sell him to United.

Inter Milan are in talks over a £35.4m switch and Matic’s team-mates all believes he will go soon. Matic has been training on his own since pre-season began on Monday and left the training base yesterday before the second season. Conte is desperate to buy another centre-forward but reports that Borussia Dortmund have offered Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea buy for £70m are untrue.

Aubameyang has three years left on his contract and while the 28-year old wants one last big contract elsewhere, Dortmund are reluctant to sell and have no offers. Source in Germany suggest there have been no negoiations with Chelsea but Dortmund has told Aubameyang that his future must be decided bu the time they go to Switzerland for a training camp on July 24. If there is no transfer arranged by then, he will stay.

Conte’s first-choice striker target is Alvaro Morata, although he has flown with the rest of his Real Madrid teammates on their tour of the US. Torino start Andrea Belotti is also admired but Chelsea are not prepared to pay the £87m release clause. Watford are still confident of signing Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah despite interest from Swansea. The Welsh club have an advantage in that manager Paul Clement was a coach at Chelsea when Chalobah was progressing through the youth ranks. But Watford believe he will return to them having enjoyed a successful load spell at Vicarage Road in the 2012-13 campaign.

Defender Kurt Zouma is set to sign a new four-year contract before he completes a loan move, probably to Stoke. He is being allowed to leave on a temporary basis in order to get regular first-team football following a serious knee injury. Eden Hazard has had the cast removed from his fractured ankle and is walking without any sign of discomfort. He is still not expected to be back playing for Chelsea until September.

Source: Metro Paper

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