Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been handed a boost in their chase of Tiemoue Bakayoko, with the AS Monaco midfielder reportedly rejecting a contract renewal with the club.
French newspaper Le Parisien via Get French Football News have reported that Tiemoue Bakayoko has rejected an initial contract extension offer from AS Monaco. The French midfielder is being tailed by the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Tiemoue Bakayoko has taken his career to the next level ever since joining AS Monaco in July 2014 from boyhood club Rennes. Since making the switch to the current Ligue 1 leaders, Bakayoko has blossomed into one of the best midfielders in France, and he is still developing impressively.
This season, Bakayoko has been integral to Monaco’s title challenge with the club currently leading the Paris Saint-Germain by 3 points. Holding fort in front of the back four, the 22-year-old midfielder has started 18 Ligue 1 games and has provided a lot of stability to Monaco’s midfield.
Suffice to say, £40m-rated Bakayoko has been the go-to man for Leonardo Jardim and his exploits from the centre of the park have certainly caught the attention. Manchester United and Chelsea were the first clubs to eye the youngster and the two English giants were soon joined by rivals Arsenal and Liverpool in his pursuit.
Antonio Conte has been impressed by Bakayoko’s defensive work rate, tenacity and commitment. With the Chelsea boss aiming to bring in midfield reinforcements in the summer to fill the gap left by Oscar and John Obi Mikel, the 22-year-old has been identified as one of the targets.
Meanwhile, Manchester United will also reportedly be in the market for a midfielder in the summer with Jose Mourinho’s options being limited. Morgan Schneiderlin was sold in January, while Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger are in their twilight years.
That leaves the Portuguese with just Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera to choose from and thus he has turned to Bakayoko to sit in front of the Manchester United back four and afford the duo some freedom.
Arsene Wenger has a number of midfielders to choose from at Arsenal, with Francis Coquelin, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny all vying for regular game time. But, there is uncertainty surrounding Jack Wilshere’s future at the Emirates Stadium once he returns from his loan spell at Bournemouth.
Midfield general Santi Cazorla has been troubled by a spate of injuries, and if he continues to remain sidelined Arsene Wenger could be in the market for a midfielder, with Bakayoko fitting the bill for the kind of defensive midfielder he would prefer.
Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, also has slim pickings in midfield, with just Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana and captain Jordan Henderson as the senior options for three slots in the centre of the park.
Bakayoko’s rejection for a contract renewal should, thus, put a spring in the step of these clubs. The report adds that the snub has created a bit of tension between the player and Jardim, and he might have one foot out the exit door at Monaco, and we could be primed for a bidding way for Bakayoko’s services in the summer.