Tiemoue Bakayoko has completed a £39.7million transfer to Chelsea, and in doing so claims to have realised one of his footballing ambitions.
The 22-year-old was a key member of the Monaco side which won the Ligue 1 title and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season. Along with several of his team-mates, he has been linked with a move away from the Stade Louis II for much of the summer.
Chelsea were one of the first clubs to register a concrete interest in the France international, and they have now wrapped up his signature for a fee of almost £40million. This has delighted the player, who claims to have had a move to Stamford Bridge on his list of ambitions in the game.
“I am very happy to be here,” Bakayoko said. “I have grown up watching Chelsea. Signing was the natural thing for me because it is a club I loved very much in my childhood. I am now looking forward to evolving under this fantastic coach and alongside so many great team-mates.”
The midfielder made 51 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring three goals and assisting one more. He is expected to slot straight into Antonio Conte’s side, at the likely expense of Nemanja Matic who seems certain to have played his last match for the capital club.
The Serbian international, in his second spell with the Blues, has not travelled on their pre-season tour of China and Singapore, and was widely tipped to join Manchester United earlier this summer. However, Conte is reluctant to sell to their Premier League rivals and Juventus have emerged favourites.
The Italian coach expressed frustration at the lack of big-name arrivals earlier this summer, but things now appear to be moving with Bakayoko’s arrival coming days after Antonio Rudiger signed from Roma for £34million. That new striker, though, continues to evade Conte for the time being.