Chelsea outcast Tiemoue Bakayoko has reportedly told the club he wants to return to Italy this summer just days after it looked like he had been handed a second chance by Thomas Tuchel.
Bakayoko has been with the Blues for four years but has felt anything but a Chelsea player since his debut season in the Premier League. He has not made an appearance for the club after the 29 league outings he clocked up in the 2017/18 season. Instead, he has spent a year at each of AC Milan, Monaco and Napoli.
He has failed to make much of an impression during those loan spells and with just a year left on his contract in west London, he looked doomed for the exit door.
That was until recent reports suggested Tuchel was going to hand the 26-year-old a lifeline. Claims from Italy indicated the Chelsea boss had blocked a move to AC Milan.
However, Bakayoko has no interest in staying at Stamford Bridge and wants the transfer to Italy happen. That’s according to The Sun.
The report states the Frenchman was offered a new deal by Blues bosses in order to keep his value high.
This proposal is said to have been rejected with the player desiring another switch to Italy, this time on a permanent basis.
Milan are his first choice of destination but his new representatives have held talks with them and a number of other clubs too in recent weeks.
And Bakayoko may not get his wish. That’s because Chelsea do not see eye-to-eye with the Italians on how much their player is worth.
A valuation of around £20m has been laid down. But Milan only want to pay half of that figure.
Chelsea paid a fee of around £40m back in 2017 so are already set to take a big hit on their investment.
With the clock ticking on his contract, though, they may be at the mercy of the contenders for Bakayoko’s signature.
Bakayoko not the only possible departure
Meanwhile, another Chelsea man looks set to leave. Reports claim defender Kurt Zouma is likely to depart this summer. However, he has turned down the opportunity to join Wolves.
The 26-year-old signed for the Blues in January 2014. He was sent back to Saint-Etienne on loan for the remainder of 2013-2014.
He has since gone on to make 150 appearances for the club. But his days at the Bridge may now be numbered, according to Telefoot journalist Julien Maynard (via Sport Witness).
He suggests the centre-back ‘should’ leave during the off-season but ‘wasn’t keen’ on Molineux.