Chelsea have reportedly identified Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko as their first-choice replacement for Oscar who is set for a lucrative move to China.
According to The Times, Antonio Conte rates the France Under-21 international highly as he is better suited to the Chelsea boss’s needs given his physicality and athleticism.
However, the report adds that while Oscar is expected to move on in a club record £60m switch to Shanghai SIPG next month, it will take £40m of that to prise Bakayoko away from the Ligue 1 outfit.
The transfer funds raised by the sale of Oscar will be a major boost for Conte and Chelsea as they look to arm themselves with significant money to bolster the squad further.
Given that the Brazilian international has struggled to make an impact at Stamford Bridge this season, it can be argued that it isn’t even much of a loss as Conte has his own clear ideas and plans for the future which don’t involve the playmaker.
In turn, bringing in another player that fits his criteria can only mean good things for Conte and Chelsea, as he will have been keen on strengthening his midfield and giving Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante additional competition.
Bakayoko has made 24 appearances in all competitions so far this season as he has established himself as a fixture of the Monaco line-up, but the 22-year-old could be set to embark on a new challenge.
Conte’s side currently sit six points clear at the top of the Premier League table as the former Juventus and Italy boss has turned things around dramatically.
Now it will be a case of solidifying his squad and bringing in individuals who can fit into his 3-4-3 system and take the club from strength to strength.