Chelsea don’t have much leverage in the negotiations with AC Milan over Tiémoué Bakayoko. Not only are the Rossoneri pretty much the only team (semi-)actively pursuing the 26-year-old midfielder, Bakayoko himself continues to throw out the exclusive vibes for a return to the team where he spent 2018-19 fairly successfully on loan.
“Everyone knows that Milan is in my heart and I have excellent memories. At the moment I’m a Chelsea player, [but] we’ll see...”
-Tiémoué Bakayoko; source: TMW via Google Translate
But Milan didn’t exercise their buy-option at the end of that season, and neither did Monaco at the end of last season, so when Milan come in with another loan offer, the attached buy-option isn’t providing any real value for Chelsea. However, Chelsea may not be able to do much better than the reported €3m loan fee and €35m non-binding buy-option. Our asking price may be as low as €20m (or €23m, according to the latest rumblings in Italy), but no one’s biting.
While Bakayoko does have two more years left on his Chelsea contract, extracting more value from this situation next summer would probably be an even tougher task. At this point, we’ll just have to write this one off, alongside all the other recent mistakes in the transfer market.