Manchester United are set to rival Chelsea in their pursuit of AS Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to reports.
The Frenchman, who made 32 appearances during Monaco’s romp to the Ligue 1 title last year, has been on Chelsea’s radar for some time.
It was thought that, once the Frenchman joins Chelsea, Nemanja Matic would be allowed to switch to Old Trafford, but Romelu Lukaku’s move to Man United ruled out the prospect of Antonio Conte further emboldening Jose Mourinho’s squad.
And according to the Times‘ Oliver Kay, Man United could go beyond Chelsea’s offer of £35m and table a £40m bid of their own.
Any move for Bakayoko has been held up by a knee operation back in May preventing him from completing a medical, and Monaco, in the meantime, have grown frustrated at Chelsea’s reluctance to improve their offer to £40m.
United could be using the Frenchman, an important target for Conte, as a way of gaining leverage over signing Matic, threatening to pinch somebody they consider even more valuable from their ranks and putting the champions in a lose lose situation.
Either way, one thing is becoming abundantly clear during this transfer window: that Mourinho is already landing some serious blows on his former club ahead of the new campaign.