According to Italian outlet Tuttosport, AC Milan have decided to acquire Tiémoué Bakayoko, who’s currently on loan at the club from Chelsea, and have started discussion with Chelsea regarding the move. Presumably, these discussions involve trying to negotiate a fee lower than the reported buy-option in the loan deal, which was set around €35m.
Not that long ago, this development would’ve been met with confused laughter, as Bakayoko went from being unwanted at Chelsea to being unwanted at Milan, with manager Gennaro Gattuso publicly criticizing him, even. But then, Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura both suffered injuries, forcing Gattuso into trying the robust pivot of Bakayoko and Franck Kessie. This move has not only rejuvenated Milan’s season and Bakayoko’s career, but probably saved Gattuso’s job as well. (For now.)
When Gattuso was asked about the Bakayoko situation ahead of AC Milan’s 0-0 draw with Torino on Sunday (Bakayoko vs. Aina loan derby!), he made it clear that he highly rates the 24-year-old and the rest is up to the management.
“I am not an accountant. The management knows the players I like. They have to be functional to what we do on the field. It takes important money [to buy Bakayoko], but I do not think about it. I have my head on how to put the player on the pitch and make him do better. Then we will sit down with the management, who know the best way to go.”
-Gennaro Gattuso; source: Calcio Mercato
We’re certainly happy to see Bakayoko finding success once again, even if that means that his Chelsea experiment will not see a second season at Stamford Bridge.