Tiemoue Bakayoko Rumoured to Be Drawing Interest from Manchester United, PSG

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2019

MILAN, ITALY - APRIL 24:  Tiemoue Bakayoko of AC Milan looks on during the TIM Cup match between AC Milan and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 24, 2019 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Tiemoue Bakayoko's time at Chelsea hasn't gone well, but the midfield powerhouse is still drawing interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, with PSG having contacted his entourage and possibly having an advantage thanks to sporting director Leonardo, according to RMC (h/t Get French Football News).

However, United "have shown particular intent" and even discussed a move with the Blues. Meanwhile, Arsenal head coach Unai Emery "appreciates Bakayoko's profile too."

PSG may have the inside track, though, after Leonardo brought Bakayoko to AC Milan on loan last season. He views the former Monaco enforcer as an upgrade on PSG's defensive midfielders, per France Football (h/t Sean Lunt of Sport Witness).

Lunt also cited a quote Bakayoko gave to L'Equipe last month: "Yes, for sure, one day I would like to play in Paris, I cannot lie about it. It’s big for me and my loved ones. We are real Parisians."

Bakayoko makes an interesting choice to anchor midfield for Les Parisiens. Although his spell at Chelsea has offered only brief glimpses of the Frenchman's talent, those glimpses usually involved him showing the drive and power to break forward from midfield.

Bakayoko was a success at Monaco because of the presence of Fabinho next to him as a more natural defensive shield. His energy may be a complement to deep-lying playmaker Leandro Paredes in Paris.

It might be easier for Bakayoko to thrive with a change of scenery back in England's top flight. He flopped at Chelsea after moving to Stamford Bridge in a deal worth £40 million back in 2017, but Bakayoko could help London rivals Arsenal.

He would add the aggression and athleticism the Gunners lost when Aaron Ramsey joined Juventus on a free transfer. Similarly, United could do with a more dynamic minder than Nemanja Matic to allow Paul Pogba to flourish.

The scale of interest in Bakayoko, particularly the level of the clubs involved, is a tribute to how successfully the 24-year-old rebuilt his career in Serie A:

However, the player's time in Milan wasn't without incident. Bakayoko endured a tough time working with manager Gennaro Gattuso.

Last month, Bakayoko admitted his "relationship with Gattuso was complicated, we didn’t understand each other," per Football Italia. Bakayoko also fell foul of the club's disciplinary policy by receiving a fine for being late to training.

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