La Liga giants take the stage for Chelsea outcast snubbed by Italians
Atletico Madrid are reportedly monitoring the situation around Chelsea’s Tiemoue Bakayoko in preparation for a summer swoop.
The 26-year-old has now completed a one-season loan with Italian club Napoli. It was his third consecutive year away from Stanford Bridge with previous temporary stints at AC Milan and Monaco. And he’s played a lot with the Italians, making 23 Serie A starts out of 32 appearances.
His other loans have also been relatively successful. After a bad start for Milan, he raised his level and impressed manager Gennaro Gattuso.
And it was Gattuso who was also in charge of Napoli in 2020-21. But the former Italian international has now left for Fiorentina and the Napoli club won’t buy Bakayoko.
Last month, Gazzetta Dello Sport said Partenopei had “no intention” of signing the France international. However, it looks like La Liga champions Atletico are set to enter the scene.
Los Colchoneros scored a superb league triumph, edging Real Madrid by two points. Manager Diego Simeone will look to strengthen himself this summer.
And it is said that the Argentine wants reinforcements in the midfield to help him defend his title. Lucas Torreira spent the season at Madrid on loan from Arsenal but will not be an option in 2021-2022.
And, according to Foot Mercato (via Sports witness), Bakayoko is the man he wants. The outlet suggests that officials at Wanda Metropolitano are “closely monitoring” the player’s situation.
And Simeone’s sister and agent Natalia would help close the potential deal. The midfielder has only one year left on his contract with Chelsea and may leave for nothing next summer.
It will therefore have to be a permanent agreement. Otherwise, the Blues should extend his current terms to avoid losing him for free.
Bakayoko’s exit makes sense
The Parisian received a good boost during his first campaign in West London. He has won 24 league starts and has played 43 times in all competitions.
But it looks like his face doesn’t match the club. The former Rennes star showed his true colors abroad but his form weakened towards the end of last season.
Simeone has proven to be an excellent judge of character during his next decade at the helm of Atletico. He managed to guide his charges towards two league titles despite having to fight with Barcelona and Real.
Add to that a few Europa League triumphs and two Champions League finals and it’s clear he knows what he’s doing. It was reported in March that Chelsea were in hopes of winning € 18million for the midfielder.
Whether Atletico will go this high remains to be seen, but it could be a good deal for a player with untapped potential.
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