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AC Milan in final stretch for Bakayoko; Chelsea not prioritizing Tchouaméni or Saúl — reports

Midfield rumours

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Lazio v Milan - Italian Cup Semifinal Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

AC Milan continue to work towards a final agreement for Tiémoué Bakayoko, with the Rossoneri hoping to finalize the transfer by Thursday, according to Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness).

Milan were said to be “substantially optimistic” that a deal can be struck, and the only hurdle left now is a difference in the amount of the buy-option built into the one-year loan. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Chelsea are asking for a loan fee of €1.5m and want the buy-out option to be valued at €20m. But Milan aren’t willing to go higher than €10m. Meanwhile, Bakayoko has already rejected all other offers and has agreed to reduce his salary, so personal terms are not expected to be an issue in this case.

In related news, Chelsea’s own potential pursuits of midfielders are far from any sort of final stretch of final agreement. Previously linked youngsters like Ilaix Moriba and Pape Matar Sarr are heading elsewhere — RB Leipzig and Spurs, respectively, it would appear — while according to the Telegraph late last week, Chelsea are not exactly prioritizing this sector anyway.

We remain linked with Aurélien Tchouaméni from AS Monaco, who might be tempted to leave, and Saúl Ñíguez of Atlético Madrid, who’s still being shopped around by his club looking to shed his enormous wages (£200-300k weekly). But with Declan Rice off the market for at least another year (and West Ham standing firm on their £100m valuation), we’re unlikely to make any big moves. A Saúl loan might make some sense, if we’re absolutely desperate to add another midfielder, but Tuchel seems happy enough with the way things are now.