Chelsea believe they are in pole position to sign Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to the Daily Mirror.
Bakayoko, who scored the decisive goal to dump Manchester City out of the Champions League last week, is reportedly wanted by head coach Antonio Conte to bolster his midfield.
The 22-year-old could become a full France international this week. He has played for Les Bleus at every level from under-16 to under-21, and was called up to Didier Deschamps’ squad for the friendly against Spain and World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg following the injury sustained by Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
He joined Monaco from Rennes in 2014 and has since made 82 appearances for the club.
But he is reported to favour a move to the Premier League this summer – and that could be to the champions elect.
If the Blues do succeed in landing the powerful Bakayoko, it would leave question marks over Nemanja Matic’s Stamford Bridge future.
Bakayoko would potentially operate alongside compatriot N’Golo Kante in the two deeper midfield roles in Conte’s 3-4-3 formation.