In Brief

Chelsea transfer news: Will Bakayoko join Blues or Man Utd?

Midfielder was due for medical at Stamford Bridge, but his Twitter account says he has been in Manchester

Tiemoue Bakayoko has travelled to England with Chelsea hot favourites to sign him - but could there be a twist in the transfer story?

Blues are thought to have agreed a deal with Monaco for the 22-year-old midfield ace who yesterday posted a picture of himself on Instagram travelling to London on Eurostar.

Today, says the Daily Star, he posted a message on Twitter followed by emojis of London beefeaters and Union Jack flags - surely a good sign for Chelsea fans.

But there is a puzzle with his tweet - the message lists his location as Manchester, not London.

Bakayoko then tweeted again, this time posting red and white circles with two love hearts, again from Manchester. Both Tweets have since been deleted.

United are known to be interested in him but it will be a surprise if he does not end up at Stamford Bridge.

The Daily Mail reports that Bakayoko would cost Chelsea £40m, plus add-ons, and that he was due to be having his medical today. Chelsea will hope that goes without a hitch because he has been troubled by a knee injury that needed keyhole surgery at the end of the season and he could even miss the start of the new campaign.

And if he does sign, Bakayoko’s arrival could spell the end for Nemanja Matic.

United are involved in this saga as well because Matic has been linked with a move to Old Trafford should Bakayoko complete his move to Stamford Bridge.

Matic, a key performer in Chelsea’s 2016-17 title winning team, reckons his game time will be limited and has told Chelsea chiefs he wants to leave, says the Mail.

Inter Milan have also shown interest in the leggy midfield ace but the size of his salary could be an issue for the Italian giants. Matic is 28 and United would be willing to offer him a longer-term contract.

He is still a top performer and whether Blues boss Antonio Conte would want to risk selling to one of his major rivals remains to be seen.

One player definitely heading for the Stamford Bridge exit is Nathan Chalobah. The England Under-21 international, frustrated by his lack of first team opportunities, has joined Watford for a fee believed to be around £5m, despite being offered a new contract by the Blues.

The Sun says the 22-year-old decided to leave the Premier League champions in order to further his career.

Chelsea transfer news: Now Man Utd scupper Bakayoko deal

11 July 

The Red Devils have got one over on Chelsea for the second time in a week, reports the Daily Mail, with the paper claiming that United have hijacked the Blues move for Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Apparently Jose Mourinho has told Monaco he is "prepared to pay more than £40m" for the youngster much to the fury of the Premier League champs who had their heart set on bringing his rugged skills to their midfield. 

Although the Blues failed with a bid of £37m earlier in the month it was expected they would come back with a bigger offer but apparently United are "confident" they have won the auction. 

Last week Chelsea were left reeling from the news that Romelu Lukaku had signed for United rather than return to Stamford Bridge, and the Mail says this latest humiliation has "stunned" Chelsea. 

The 22-year-old Bakayoko was pivotal in helping Monaco win the French league last season and Chelsea had been sounding out the playmaker about a move to west London. But it seems Chelsea will have to make do with landing German defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma in a deal thought to be worth around £34m. And Blues fans won't have been amused to read about Mourinho gloating over his capture of Lukaku in the Evening Standard with their former manager saying "it's only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club". 

And there's more bad news for the Blues with the Daily Star reporting that Alex Sandro is "unsure if he wants to join the Premier League champions". There were strong indications last week that the Brazilian left-back was contemplating a move to the Bridge but it's now being claimed that "he wants to stay in Italy". 

Antonio Conte had been ready to hand over £60m in readies to Juventus but the South American stopper, who arrived in Turin in 2015 from Porto, is having second thoughts about relocating to England.


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