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Chelsea miss out as Lyon’s Corentin Tolisso signs with Bayern

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It’s always tough to tell just how much genuine interest there may be in any of Chelsea’s supposed transfer targets, but the fact remains that the Olympique Lyonnais president himself revealed that Chelsea were interested in at least one player on his team when he talked to the media ahead of the UEFA Women’s Champions League final. Chelsea and Lyon were conducting business already over Bertrand Traore (expected to conclude soon) and possibly Kurt Zouma as well, but Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed that there were other moves discussed as well.

“I was in Chelsea and we discussed something other than women's football [...] Chelsea players interest us, and the reciprocal is also true.”

Subsequent reports unanimously put Corentin Tolisso at the center of Chelsea’s reciprocal, with the 22-year-old midfielder emerging quickly as a potential alternative in Chelsea’s chase for midfield reinforcement. The Bakayoko transfer seemed to hit some frustrations (which have now been, more or less resolved); meanwhile Tolisso was supposedly just waiting for an offer.

Whether an offer from Chelsea ever came is unknown — dubious rumors claimed €35m — but an offer from Bayern Munich did. Tolisso was keen, and so here we are two weeks later, with him landing in Munich today after taking part in France’s friendly against England yesterday. Signed, sealed, delivered.

Tolisso, who was apparently Carlo Ancelotti’s “wish for their midfield” said it was “a great day” for him.

If Chelsea were genuinely interested and trying for Tolisso, missing out on him stings a bit, even if Bayern were supposedly his preference from the start. If we weren’t, it still looks bad at the moment since he went to Bayern for the standard going rate of €40m (UPDATE: €41.5+6m in bonuses). that any decent player commands these days and Chelsea are still just working on our acquisitions. But by all accounts Chelsea aren’t just sitting idly by and as long as we get our business done before the start of pre-season (second week of July), we should be fine.