Bakayoko will return to Chelsea as Monaco has been priced out of purchase
Tiemoue Bakayoko is set to return to Chelsea this summer as Monaco have opted not to trigger their option to buy the midfielder.
Following the announcement on Tuesday that the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season has been cancelled, the France international will return to his parent club.
Having sent Bakayoko out on loan to his former side, Chelsea inserted a €42.5 million (£38m/$46m) option to buy clause in the agreement reached last summer, but the provincial club have informed the Blues that they will not pay anywhere near their asking price.
It had been hoped when the deal was agreed that there would be significant room for negotiation on the Stade Louis II side.
However, with football now called off in France and teams affected by a lack of funds from broadcasting rights and sponsorship deals, no such talks will take place.
It has yet to be determined who will be relegated or qualify for Europe from France’s top tier, but Monaco are likely to miss out on the Champions League for the second season in a row. They were in ninth place after 28 games before the French league stopped.
Chelsea had been looking to recoup the £40m ($50m) fee they paid for Bakayoko back in 2017 and they will likely look to move him on again once the transfer window opens as Frank Lampard now has a plethora of options in midfield.
With the emergence of young Billy Gilmour and with Ruben Loftus-Cheek still to return from injury, Lampard can also call on N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Ross Barkley, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.
Add to that the fact that Lampard is also an admirer of on-loan youngsters Ethan Ampadu and Conor Gallagher and Bakayoko’s chances of muscling his way into the first team look increasingly slim.
Like at AC Milan last season, Bakayoko was a regular at Monaco, but a deal has once again not proven viable for the buying club. PSG were interested in Bakayoko last summer and are thought to be keen on signing him again, but he currently ranks low on their priority list.
The west Londoners may be under extra pressure to sell Bakayoko this summer – with his contract set to expire in 2022 – due to new FIFA regulations.
From the start of next season, clubs will not be able to send more than eight players aged 22 or over out on loan. That limit will be reduced to six players for the 2022-23 campaign.
FIFA guidance also states that Bakayoko shouldn’t be available to play for the club in the remaining fixtures of this season.
The Premier League are beginning talks in their aim to return by 8 June under ‘Project Restart’. Several British clubs have allowed players to return to their training grounds but with strict social distancing and safety guidelines in place.