RUMOURS: Chelsea to battle Man Utd for £40m Bakayoko

The Blues are reported to have had the Monaco midfielder watched by their scouts on several occasions and see him as the ideal replacement for China-bound Oscar

Chelsea have identified Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko as the ideal replacement for China-bound Oscar, according to The Times.

The Blues are set to part with their Brazilian star in a £60 million deal in January, with Shanghai SIPG prepared to spend big on the out-of-favour midfielder.

His departure will free up space in Antonio Conte’s squad and the Italian is prepared to fill that void with the physicality and athleticism of Bakayoko – who has also been linked with Manchester United.

Chelsea are said to have had the £40m-rated France Under-21s international watched on several occasions this season, including Monaco’s Champions League clash with Tottenham at Wembley in November.