In a season of extreme highs and extreme lows, Tiémoué Bakayoko’s immediate future remains very much shrouded in unknowns.
His performances over the course of the season had made it almost a certainty that AC Milan would take up their €35m buy-option built into the season-long loan from Chelsea, but a recent series of unfortunate and unpleasant events means that the situation is not so obvious anymore. A late arrival for a training session (blamed on an empty fuel tank) is probably not the worst crime, but an expletive-ridden bust-up with the manager is a grave misdemeanor in the footballing world — even if Gattuso has played it down since. Milan have also dropped out of the top four and Champions League qualification, which was supposedly a minimum requirement for exercising the buy clause. This is in addition to Bakayoko suffering repeated racist abuse, so he himself may not be too keen to continue in Italy.
One club reportedly monitoring the situation is Newcastle United, where club owner Mike Ashley seemis to be finally willing to open his pockets for new signings. He’s hoping that will be enough to convince the in-demand Rafael Benítez to stay. Newcastle have scouted Bakayoko “half a dozen times” already, though it’s uncertain if they would be able to meet Chelsea’s asking price for a permanent move.
How Newcastle United could line up in the 2019/20 season - IF Rafa Benitez gets his way https://t.co/psGacbUnRz— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) May 11, 2019
The report also talks about Kenedy having no future on Tyneside, but that is something we’ve already known. Newcastle are also reported to be interested in Tammy Abraham, who’s finishing his loan spell at Aston Villa, so we may be doing a bit of business with them this summer.