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Manchester United step up efforts to beat Chelsea to Monaco midfielder’s signature

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This one comes from the proverbial pen of Mourinho-insider Duncan Castles, so it may have more than just the usual hint of a nugget of truth to it, unlike most other transfer rumors.

According to Castles, Mourinho is ready to enact Phase I of his latest necessary spending spree, starting with a defender and a “number six” this January. For the latter position, he has identified Monaco midfielder Tiomoué Bakayoko as one of his primary targets and thus Manchester United have become “engaged in a three-way Premier League battle” for the 22-year-old’s signature.

The Bakayoko rumors have been going on for a few weeks now, but Monaco had been adamant that they won’t be selling this month and Bakayoko himself has “ruled out” a January move just the other day.

But you know how transfer rumors work.

Castles claims that Monaco have now relaxed their stance and that the bidding for Bakayoko would start around €25m. Previous reports put the young man’s price more around €40m. Either way, Monaco would be pretty silly to sell right now considering how well they’re doing in Ligue 1 and in the Champions League as well.