Transfer talks and rumours: Chelsea to open talks with Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko
Tiemoué Bakayoko has admitted it would be 'impossible' for him to join Paris St Germain, leaving the door ajar for a trio of Premier League clubs to open negotiations with Monaco over the midfielder.
It is understood that talks between the 22-year-old's representatives have already taken place with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, although the newly-crowned Premier League champions remain the favorites to sign the £43 million-rated Bakayoko.
Despite being born in the French capital, Bakayoko has ruled out a move to PSG, claiming it would be taking a step backwards.
"I can't leave Monaco to go to PSG," Bakayoko said. "It's impossible, because I've just finished champion ahead of Paris. I can't leave for a club that has finished behind me.
"PSG is a club I carry in my heart because I'm a Parisian and I was a supporter of PSG, like my family. They initiated me."
Presumably, Chelsea will be quick to remind Bakayoko that both Liverpool and Manchester United also failed to win the title and so joining one of them would also be taking a step backwards.
Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is looking to further strengthen his side by adding Belgium international striker Romelu Lukaku to their title-winning squad.
After spending three years on the books at Stamford Bridge during which time he made 10 league appearances with a return of precisely no goals scored, Lukaku went out on loan to West Bromwich Albion and Everton where he rediscovered his shooting boots.
After finally signing Lukaku in July 2014, Everton, according to the Evening Standard, now appear poised to lose him to the champions who have made the 24-year-old their 'first-choice target ahead of Real Madrid’s Álvaro Morata'.
Another Everton player expected to leave Goodison Park this summer, according to the Sun at least, is Ross Barkley. Manager Ronald Koeman has for months now been frustrated by Barkley's unwillingness to sign a new contract and the Dutchman is understood to be losing patience with the England international.
The board at Everton are said to want a quick resolution to the situation and want a decision by the end of the week. Arsenal, Manchester United and Spurs are all understood to be monitoring the happenings on Merseyside.
Just days after Paul Clement said he was determined to keep hold of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente, the Swansea City manager appears to have stumbled at the first hurdle.
The Iceland international midfielder, according to the Mirror, has agreed a £25m deal with Everton, although the 27-year-old is holding out for wages in excess of £120,000 a week before he signs on the dotted line so Clement may still be able to keep hold of his man. For now, at least.
Everton are also understood to be keen on Ajax captain Davy Klaassen who this week is expected to line up against Manchester United in the Europa League final in Stockholm, Sweden.