international football

Chelsea sign sensational French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco

The 22-year-old will join the Premier League Champions on a five-year contract for a fee of up to £39.7 million.

Chelsea completed the signing of French international midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco, the Premier League champions announced on Saturday.

The 22-year-old joined Antonio Conte’s Chelsea on a five-year contract for a reported fee of up to £39.7 million ($51.98 million, €45.3 million) after helping the principality side win the Ligue 1 title last season.

“I am very happy to be here and to join this great team,” Bakayoko said in a statement on the Chelsea website. “I have grown up watching Chelsea. Signing was the natural thing for me because it is a club I loved very much in my childhood. I am now looking forward to evolving under this fantastic coach and alongside so many great team-mates.”

Chelsea may have to do without their new recruit at the start of the season though, as Bakayoko is expected to be out of action for at least six weeks after having keyhole surgery on his knee at the end of last term.

Bakayoko was one of the stars of Leonardo Jardim’s youthful Monaco outfit that surprisingly beat Paris Saint-Germain to the French title in May, while also reaching the Champions League semi-finals.

The completion of the deal is a boost for Chelsea manager Conte, after he missed out on former Everton striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.

There had been speculation United might try and stymie the bid for Bakayoko just as they did with Lukaku, as they broke the record for a deal between British clubs of £75m to prise him away from Goodison Park on Monday.

However, Bakayoko, whom Monaco will make a tidy profit on having signed him from Rennes for £7m in 2014, had always made it clear that Chelsea was his preferred destination.

“Tiemoue was outstanding as Monaco emerged as one of Europe’s best sides last season and we are delighted to welcome him to Chelsea,” said the Blues’ technical director Michael Emenalo. “Despite his young age he already has plenty of experience as a French title winner, and having competed in the latter stages of the Champions League, we believe he will add considerable quality to our squad.”

Bakayoko made his international debut in a friendly defeat by Spain in March, and will team up with compatriot N’Golo Kante in the Chelsea midfield.

His arrival also paves the way for the possible departure from Stamford Bridge of Serbian Nemanja Matic. However, Chelsea are not keen to sell him to the original suitors Manchester United, as relations between the two rivals have cooled considerably since the Lukaku affair.

Bakayoko is Chelsea’s third major signing of the close season so far, following the arrivals of goalkeeper Willy Caballero from Manchester City and Germany centre-back Antonio Rudiger from Roma. The six-time English champions head to Asia later this month for a pre-season tour, before taking on Arsenal in the Community Shield on August 6, and kicking off their Premier League title defence against Burnley six days later.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.