Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest reportedly view Chelsea outcast Tiemoue Bakayoko as a potential summer transfer target.
According to Italian journalist Luca Bianchin, Chelsea’s forgotten midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko could be set for a stint in the Premier League. Top-flight newcomers Nottingham Forest are reportedly interested in signing the 27-year-old, with “talks ongoing” over a move for the French midfielder.
You would be forgiven if you forgot that Bakayako is still on the books at Chelsea. The 27-year-old midfielder arrived at Stamford Bridge for around £40 million in 2017 on the back of playing a key role in AS Monaco’s triumph over Paris-Saint Germain to claim the 2016/17 Ligue 1 title.
The French international made 43 appearances for the Blues under Antonio Conte in his debut campaign but has subsequently spent the majority of his time away from Chelsea, enduring subsidized loans to the likes of Napoli and AC Milan.
Bakayoko rejoined Milan on a two-year loan deal last summer, with the agreement including a purchase option after impressing with Napoli in the season prior to that. But he found game time hard to come by last season, with Ismael Bennacer, Sandro Tonali, Franck Kessie and Rade Krunic all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Bakayoko made 18 only appearances for the Rossoneri last term across all competitions but largely played a backup role and remained on the bench for the second half of the campaign. While he is only halfway through his loan term, the Frenchman has fallen out of favour with Stefano Pioli and has not even featured much in the pre-season for the Serie A giants, who are looking to cut short his loan spell after a disappointing first season.
There were some rumours of Marseille agreeing on personal terms with the Chelsea midfielder last month, but nothing has materialised. Now, it looks like a return to the Premier League could be on the cards for Bakayoko, albeit not to Stamford Bridge, with newly-promoted Nottingham Forest interested in snapping him up.
Nottingham Forest have been extremely busy in the market this summer and have already made 12 new signings during the ongoing transfer window, but are showing no signs of slowing down, with Steve Cooper trying to strengthen his squad before the window slams shut to give themselves the best chance of survival.
Recent reports have suggested Swiss international Remo Freuler is on the verge of joining the Tricky Trees from Serie A outfit Atalanta. Despite this, the Premier League newcomers are likely to remain light in the middle of the park, which is a major worry for Cooper, as they were haplessly beaten by Newcastle United in their Premier League opener.
To address the issue, Nottingham Forest are making attempts to sign Bakayako, likely on an initial loan. They are in contact with Chelsea and AC Milan, as per Gazzetta dello Sport (via Milan News).
Forest are currently in extensive negotiations to reach an agreement on the player’s wages, which are proving to be the stumbling block. But there is optimism that some sort of arrangement can be reached. Chelsea, meanwhile, must cut their losses on the player, who still has two years remaining on his current contract with the west London club.