Chelsea are reportedly weighing up making an offer for Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko in the January transfer window, but have an alternative just in case.
According to The Daily Mail, Antonio Conte is ready to spend the money raised by the sale of Oscar to Shanghai SIPG, and Bakayoko remains his top target to bolster the midfield.
The 22-year-old has been in impressive form so far this season, as he has established himself as an ever-present for the Ligue 1 outfit, making 26 appearances in all competitions while scoring two goals.
As a result, it’s hardly surprising that he’s attracted interest from some of the top clubs in England, with Manchester United also said to be monitoring him, as per the report.
Nevertheless, as noted by The Sun last month, it will likely take an offer of around £40m to prise him away from Monaco, while the Frenchman has insisted that he wants to see out the season with the French outfit before moving on.
That will likely force Chelsea to consider their options, as they will want to strengthen where possible in January in order to sustain their Premier League title push.
According to the Mail report, Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie remains on their transfer radar, but again, the fee might be a problem as the Serie A side want £30m for the Ivorian international who is now on duty at the Africa Cup of Nations until next month.
It’s a headache for Chelsea as they look to bolster their midfield, but armed with significant transfer funds and being able to have their pick of targets probably isn’t the worst position to be in this month.
Having slipped up at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night, it was a timely reminder that they are far from the finished article and so Conte will be hopeful that he can land one of his two preferred targets before the end of the window.