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Further reports of Chelsea agreeing £35m deal for AS Monaco midfielder

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It’s happening.

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Initial excitement this morning over Tiemoué Bakayoko’s impending arrival and signing with Chelsea was tempered a few hours later when it turned out that the flight he was taking from Nice (the closest major airport to Monaco) to London was simply the first leg of the journey that’s taken him on holidays to the United States. So unless he snuck it it while in transit, he’s not completed a medical or put his pen to paper on anything official just yet with the Blues — until then, make do with reading our scouting report on the 22-year-old midfielder.

But we can probably rest assured that it’s happening, possibly as early as next week. We’ve already had some delay in this transfer; what’s another few days? Here’s trusted club source Matt Law with his report, pinning the delay prior to today on negotiations over the transfer fee (lowered from £43m/€50m to £35m/€40m) and associated wages. Also going along with this story are Goal, the Mail, Mirror, Eurosport, the Express, and several others.

One does wonder if the €10m reduction has anything to do with the increased rumors lately of Michy Batshuayi heading to Monaco on loan for next season — though Law assures that no such thing will happen until at least the Lukaku deal is done. However, with Costa heading out as well, letting Batshuayi go might not be a smart move to begin with.

Other tidbits from Law’s report match our assumption that Bakayoko’s arrival would have the greatest effect on Nemanja Matić, who’s been linked with a move to either Juventus or Manchester United recently. Cesc Fàbregas is set to stay and continue fighting the good fight.

Last but not least, there’s a short bit about defenders, with Chelsea hoping to convince Nathan Aké to stay and looking to reintegrate Andreas Christensen. It sounds like we’re fully done with the Van Dijk business, thought he Van Dijk business may not be done with us — there are a few reports out there today of Southampton possibly accusing Chelsea of tapping-up their defender as well, though as far as I can tell, they’re heavily reliant upon this article by Yahoo UK, which doesn’t even have a byline. Probably nothing to worry about, especially since it doesn’t sound like Liverpool will get any sanctions in the first place.