Chelsea will reportedly see AC Milan exercise their option to buy on Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer having impressed for the Serie A giants this season.
The 24-year-old endured a rocky start to life in Italy as he struggled early on, but injuries opened up an opportunity for him and he has become a fundamental figure in coach Gennaro Gattuso’s starting line-up.
Bakayoko has now made 32 appearances this season, establishing himself in the heart of the Milan midfield to offer defensive protection coupled with physicality and athleticism as well as powerful runs forward to offer an attacking edge too.
In turn, it will come as no surprise that Calciomercato note, via the paper edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport, that Milan are being tipped to now exercise their option to buy on the Frenchman and pay €35m for him this summer.
That’s a significant fee and so it remains to be seen whether or not it hinges on their ability to qualify for the Champions League as they remain in fourth place ahead of the all-important run-in to the end of the campaign.
On this occasion, given the option to buy clause, Chelsea will have little option but to allow the exit, although they will surely have to be careful and consider many other options moving forward as they continue to fight against their transfer ban, as noted by Sky Sports.
With an inability to sign players for the next two transfer windows as it stands, the last thing that the Blues need is to lose key individuals and not be able to replace them.
Given Bakayoko has been out on loan anyway, he won’t be missed at Stamford Bridge, and so perhaps the fee generated from his sale will go towards strengthening the squad if Maurizio Sarri is able to add reinforcements ahead of next season.