Milan’s next order of business with Chelsea after Olivier Giroud’s imminent transfer looks to be for Tiémoué Bakayoko, according to Gazzetta dello Sport and Goal. The Serie A side are looking for more depth in midfield, with Franck Kessié set to represent Côte d’Ivoire in the Olympic Games this summer, as well as the Africa Cup of Nations in January.
Milan would prefer to do a loan deal, but with Bakayoko’s contract expiring in 2022, that is not feasible. They are open to a transfer at a “reasonable” price as well (or a loan with an obligation to buy), but their reasonable is probably not the same as Chelsea’s reasonable.
Corriere dello Sport note that Milan are willing to let this saga draw out to the end of the transfer window, while hoping that Bakayoko’s desire to join them — he also has interest from OGC Nice — will help in the negotiations. Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) add a claim that Chelsea do have a unilateral option to extend the 26-year-old’s contract by a year, which could re-open the possibility of a simple loan deal, even if that is not the preferred option of either Chelsea or the player himself.
Milan were said to be similarly interested in Hakim Ziyech and similarly willing to play the long game, but that track appears to be fading away already, with the Rossoneri unable to cover his wages, nor able to meet Chelsea’s asking price. As such, Milan have already started focusing on other targets to replace Hakan Çalhanoğlu, with the names of Dušan Tadić, Isco, and Mikkel Damsgaard getting mentioned.