Manchester United have reportedly set their sights on Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, with the French international said to be valued at around £40m.
The 22-year-old has been a pivotal figure in Monaco’s success this season in particular, helping them to top spot in Ligue 1 as we enter the latter stages of the campaign while they’ve also advanced to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
In turn, it’s no surprise that he’s attracting interest from elsewhere, with The Mirror noting that United boss Jose Mourinho has made Bakayoko his major midfield target this summer with Monaco demanding around £40m.
However, the move could yet be complicated by the fact that it’s added he wants Champions League football next season. Given United are currently fifth in the Premier League standings, they have a way to go before guaranteeing that aspect of any possible agreement.
Nevertheless, it won’t put them off the pursuit as it’s claimed that Mourinho has effectively decided that Bakayoko would make the perfect replacement for Michael Carrick.
The veteran midfielder is still performing at a high level despite the fact that he’ll turn 36 this summer, but ultimately United need a long-term successor to play that crucial deep midfield role sooner rather than later.
It’s added in the report that Chelsea are also keen on the Monaco star, and given that they look on course to win the title this season and therefore seal a return to Europe’s top table next year, Antonio Conte could arguably have the edge in the chase to sign Bakayoko.
Regardless though, it seems Mourinho is very keen on the combative and energetic midfielder, and in turn he’ll likely continue to press to try and persuade him to opt for Old Trafford instead of Stamford Bridge.