Speculation continues to link Tiemoue Bakayoko with a second spell at Milan, and it can certainly be argued that it would be a smart move from the Rossoneri.
As per La Gazzetta dello Sport, it’s suggested that the 25-year-old has agreed on personal terms as he is willing to take a pay cut, but there is no agreement between the two clubs as of yet on a transfer fee.
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It’s added that Chelsea could demand around €20m to green light an exit, while Milan are prepared to go up to €15m. Alternatively, we could consider an initial loan move with an obligation to buy included.
While a whole host of midfielders have been paired with a move to join us this summer, Bakayoko would be a sensible option if it’s decided that he will be tasked with strengthening our midfield next season and beyond.
Various positives to touted reunion…
It’s fair to say that things didn’t start well for Bakayoko in his previous loan spell with us, as he lacked confidence and belief and ultimately looked a shadow of the player who earned his move to Chelsea from Monaco in 2017.
However, the improvement and development of his game that he showed coupled with the necessary character to bounce back and prove his worth was superb, as he became a mainstay in the starting XI and ended the season having made 42 appearances across all competitions.
That turnaround was a joy to watch as Bakayoko began to rediscover his best form, but unfortunately after failing to qualify for the Champions League, it was decided that he wouldn’t be signed outright.
One year on and after a loan spell with former club Monaco failed to have the desired impact, the Frenchman is now seemingly at an important crossroads in his career which will determine whether or not he kicks on and fulfils his potential, or lives with regrets over how great he could have been after such a promising start to his career.
Should Milan find an agreement to sign him this summer, it would be a solid and smart acquisition to bolster our midfield options by adding quality depth and competition. Ismael Bennacer and Franck Kessie have cemented their respective places in the starting XI in Stefano Pioli’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system, but Bakayoko could easily fit in and be an alternative to Kessie when required.
He has Serie A experience, Milan have first-hand knowledge of how he will fare in our midfield, he matured and developed as a player during his previous spell with us and offers the level of tenacity, energy, mobility and physicality needed to play the role required in one of the deeper-lying midfield positions.
There are no guarantees of course that Bakayoko will simply pick up from where he left off the season before last, while there are perhaps some more appealing and exciting names on the transfer shortlist who can offer us a bit more quality in possession.
Nevertheless, Pioli has already shown that he can help players evolve and become pivotal parts of the side, and Bakayoko could be the next player up to benefit from his coaching qualities if he does indeed return.
That said, €20m is a lot of money for a player who has struggled to entirely convince and hasn’t been able to prove his worth in England having been shipped out on loan twice in the last two years. If Milan are going to prioritise bringing him back, it has to be on sensible terms and for a figure that doesn’t eat up our transfer window budget before others arrive.