Napoli, Chelsea open talks over Tiémoué Bakayoko transfer after good start — reports

We haven’t been following Tiémoué Bakayoko too closely, but the Chelsea loanee has had a pretty good start to life in his latest assignment, at Serie A side Napoli, where he’s been reunited with Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso.

The 26-year-old midfielder has started all four of their league games since since joining on transfer deadline day in early October, adding two appearances (one start) in three Europa League matches as well. His partnership with Fabián Ruiz in the double pivot has helped power the team to a strong start, as they sit third just three points behind surprise leaders AC Milan in the Serie A table.

The good start has led to talks of a contract extension for Gattuso, who signed only through this season when appointed new head coach halfway through last season. And according to additional reports, Napoli intend to ensure that Bakayoko also stays with them beyond this season, by “opening talks” with Chelsea for turning the midfielder’s loan into a permanent move.

While no buy-option is built into the deal, some reports claim that there is a “gentlemen’s agreement” for an €18m transfer fee. Combined with the €2m loan fee, that would put Bakayoko’s eventual transfer price at half of what we paid in 2017, but considering that his Chelsea contract expires in 2022, and that he’s been surplus to requirements for us for several seasons at this point, that would not be a terrible deal — for any and all involved.

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