Chelsea blocking midfielder’s return to Ligue 1 despite Lampard decision

Chelsea are reluctant to let Tiemoue Bakayoko rejoin Monaco, despite Frank Lampard instructing the board that the midfielder is not part of his plans.

Bakayoko has not featured in a matchday squad for Chelsea this season, after spending the 2018-19 campaign out on loan at AC Milan.

He has been heavily linked with another temporary switch away from Stamford Bridge, but there are conflicting reports over the club’s plans.

According to ESPN‘s live transfer blog, Bakayoko is eager to return to former club Monaco, from whom he joined Chelsea in a £40m deal in 2017.

However, it is claimed that Chelsea – who still have the player contracted until 2022 – are blocking the move for now, as they would rather Bakayoko join a more ambitious club, with a view to aiding his development.

Monaco – who are also pushing to sign Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina – are bottom of Ligue 1 after losing their first two games of the season, and Chelsea want to see the 25-year-old progress at a more ambitious club.

In fact, it has been suggested that Chelsea board member Marina Granovskaia was not willing to let Bakayoko leave at all – until Lampard made his decision on the player.

Transfer expert Duncan Castles told the Transfer Window Podcast: “There are clubs that want to take him and there will definitely be an option for Chelsea to allow the player to go on loan, take a significant loan fee for him, take the wages off their balance sheet and include an option to buy going forward.

“They might be able to sell the player if they negotiate well.

“Earlier in the summer I know at least one French club made an enquiry to Chelsea about taking the player this season and were told by Marina Granovskaia that he was not for sale and not available and would be part of Chelsea’s squad this year.

“However, this was prior to Frank Lampard working with the player.

“So now it’s going to be interesting to see if that landscape has changed sufficiently for Chelsea to say ‘okay, even though we had a transfer ban and we weren’t able to recruit apart from making [Mateo] Kovacic’s loan deal into a full registration, we will allow Bakayoko as well to leave the club because the manager has decided he is not required even as a back up for this season’.”


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