Expert suggests Man United interest in midfielder attempt to make Chelsea pay more

Raphael Honigstein says Manchester United's apparent interest in Chelsea target Tiemoue Bakayoko was convenient for AS Monaco

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte Photo: The Sport Review

Raphael Honigstein believes Manchester United’s apparent interest in Chelsea target Tiemoue Bakayoko could be an attempt by AS Monaco to push up the defensive midfielder’s price.

The holding midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge throughout the summer transfer window so far but Chelsea have struggled to get a deal over the line.

Bakayoko is thought to be one of Antonio Conte’s primary targets this summer as the Italian coach looks to improve his midfield options.

The Premier League champions have already lost out to Manchester United in the race to sign Belgium international Romelu Lukaku.

Reports earlier this week suggested that the Red Devils could also hijack Chelsea’s deal to sign 22-year-old Bakayoko from the Ligue 1 champions.

Bundesliga expert Honigstein pondered whether AS Monaco could be responsible for the speculation as the French club look to get Chelsea to pay more for Bakayoko.

Honigstein told ESPN FC:

“The way the Daily Mail story is written suggests to me, and maybe I’m being a little bit cynical here, that Monaco are leaking this to drive up the price a little bit and putting the frighteners on Chelsea to say if they don’t bid more money, they might lose another target.”

Chelsea have signed Manchester City reserve goalkeeper Willy Caballero and AS Roma defender Antonio Rudiger in what has been a frustrating transfer window for the English champions so far.

The Blues won the Premier League with two games to spare after finishing seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

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