Tiemoue Bakayoko faces an uncertain future, as there are doubts over whether Napoli will buy him permanently from Chelsea.
Bakayoko struggled to live up to expectations after joining Chelsea from Monaco in 2017. He only spent one season at Stamford Bridge before being loaned away. His first spell took him to Milan, then he spent last season back at Monaco and moved to Napoli this summer.
That switch reunited him with Gennaro Gattuso, who had coached him at Milan. It seemed as if it may be the ideal fit for him to finally get his career back on track – and for Chelsea to find a willing buyer.
The early signs were positive, but Bakayoko has fallen down the pecking order recently. What’s more, Gattuso’s future is in serious doubt, which in turn could have an effect on Napoli’s plans for Bakayoko.
Reports back in November indicated that the club would only consider signing the midfielder once they had determined what was happening with their coach.
Now, according to Il Roma, Chelsea are still asking for €18m to sell the midfielder. That’s the same price they have been discussing with Napoli all along.
However, the problem is that the Serie A side are reluctant to meet that fee. In fact, it is claimed that Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis “will never accept” that price tag. They could yet negotiate, but the player’s will should also come into question.
Bakayoko is not willing to remain on the bench next season. That may force him away from Naples.
With his contract with Chelsea expiring in 2022, though, they must find a solution for the 26-year-old quickly or they risk losing him for free. Considering they paid €40m for him four years ago, that would be far from ideal.
However, there have been no mentions of other suitors for the Frenchman just yet.
Chelsea trying to sign attacker
Meanwhile, Chelsea remain interested in FC Porto winger Jesus Corona, according to reports – but will have to act fast to get the best deal.
Corona emerged as a potential target for Chelsea last year, after providing four goals and 11 assists in the 2019-20 Portuguese top flight. He is halfway to matching those tallies this season, with two goals and six assists so far.
As such, it appears Corona is still on the agenda for Chelsea. According to O Jogo, they are considering a move for him this summer.
The 28-year-old’s contract only has little over a year left on it. Therefore, he could be available for a cut-price fee this summer.
Porto insist otherwise, as it is claimed they want €40m for his signature. However, Chelsea could still strike a bargain deal.
The winger has a release clause of just €25m active until July. If Chelsea can stump up that amount in time, Porto will be powerless to keep him.