Arsenal reportedly held talks with Chelsea target and Monaco star Tiemoue Bakayoko in November but it looks as though the Gunners will now miss out.
The 22-year-old has become one of the most in-demand midfielders in Europe due to his performances for the Ligue 1 outfit this season, as he has also been pivotal to their run to the Champions League quarter-finals.
With that though comes the obvious risk of the top European clubs wanting to prise him away, and as noted by France Football, Chelsea are leading the race to sign Bakayoko for as much as €60m this summer.
However, the story has also revealed an interesting sub-plot that suggests that Arsene Wenger was keen to take the midfield ace to Arsenal earlier this season as he met Bakayoko in November to discuss a possible transfer to the Emirates.
It’s added that the pair met in a hotel in Paris, but unfortunately for Arsenal fans the report goes on to suggest that the Monaco man rejected the opportunity to join the Gunners as he now looks set to move to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
While it’s questionable in terms of taking too much from the speculation, this screams out as another example of Wenger’s failing influence and inability to convince the top players to join Arsenal over their direct rivals.
The French U21 international is more than likely going to play a crucial role in Monaco’s finish to the season as they chase domestic and European honours. However, Bakayoko may well find himself in England next season helping Antonio Conte and Chelsea defend their Premier League crown.