Reports in Italy claim new Valencia manager Gennaro Gattuso has already opened talks with Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko about a loan move to Spain.
Gattuso, 44, was unveiled as the new Los Che boss on Thursday, taking over from Jose Bordalas at the Mestalla. It is the Italian’s first managerial job since leaving Napoli in May last year. And it seems as though he has wasted little time in trying to shape his squad for the 2022-2023 campaign.
The former Italy defender knows Bakayoko well. He managed the France international while he was on loan at Milan in 2018-2019 and during his temporary spell with Napoli.
That was during the 2020-21 season, one of four loans the talented schemer has enjoyed since signing for Chelsea in July 2017.
The Parisian was handed 24 starts among 29 Premier League appearances during his first campaign at Stamford Bridge. But despite being seen 43 times in all competitions, the schemer failed to impress in west London.
He was criticised by many pundits and failed to convince the fans he was worth the £40m they paid for his signature. And the former Monaco man has not kicked a ball in anger for Chelsea since his maiden season at the club.
His first loan at the San Siro under Gattuso was a success, with 31 Serie A appearances and 42 overall.
On returning to Chelsea, he was loaned out to former club Monaco for 2019-2020, enjoying 20 Ligue 1 starts. And it was no surprise that Gattuso opted to take him on loan when in charge of Napoli.
It was another busy time for the player as he played 32 times in the league.
Bakayoko not wanted at Chelsea
Despite excelling in Naples, once again Bakayoko was overlooked by the Londoners. He penned a two-year loan deal back at Milan, with an option to buy in the contract.
However, things did not work out well and, with just five top-flight starts, his time there ended after just one year.
Tuttomercatoweb are reporting that Gattuso has already ‘reactivated’ contacts with Bakayoko after taking the helm at Valencia.
The ex-Milan stopper will reportedly target a number of stars he has previously worked with at the LaLiga outfit. And Bakayoko appears to be his first port of call.
It is obvious the 27-year-old will not feature for Chelsea after four years away and the prospect of a fifth. But they may decide to extend his deal to increase their bargaining power when it comes to selling him permanently.