Milan want Chelsea trio but fear deal will break down for one reason

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • 24 Nov 2022 09:48 GMT
  • 3 min read
FT Desk 24 Nov 2022 09:48 GMT 3 min read
Fikayo Tomori, Juventus v Milan, 2021-22

AC Milan raided Chelsea for Fikayo Tomori last year and plan to go shopping in London again, but there is a spanner in the works as they eye up their next three Blues targets…

Milan are interested in Chelsea's out of favour pair Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, as well as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, while the Blues have been keeping tabs on Rossoneri forward Rafa Leao for many months.

Suffice to say, the clubs have an amicable relationship in terms of transfers. England centre-back Tomori was an academy graduate at Chelsea, but Milan agreed to pay them €28.5 million for his services after a successful loan spell in 2021.

READ: Chelsea must NOT repeat Tomori mistake with Chalobah

Chelsea's interest in Leao has been amplified in recent weeks, meanwhile, with their own primary attacking target, RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku, pulling out of the World Cup with France due to a torn knee ligament that will keep him sidelined for months.

But negotiations for Pulisic, Leao and Co. could break down over the future of another player who swapped Chelsea for Milan - for the second time - at the same time as Tomori in the summer of 2021: Tiemoue Bakayoko.

READ: Why do Milan keep buying Chelsea players?

No way Bakayoko

One-time France international midfielder Bakayoko had a loan spell at Milan in 2018/19 and returned on a similar deal in the summer of 2021, joining for two seasons with an option to make it permanent for €12.8m.

But unlike the Tomori deal, Milan have no intention of signing Bakayoko on a full-time basis, and the aforementioned option becomes an obligation should he play more than 45 minutes in at least 15 games over the two-year period.

Bakayoko has only started five Serie A games for Milan - all of those coming last season - and he is yet to even get off the bench in the league in the current campaign.

Ismael Bennacer and Sandro Tonali have formed Stefano Pioli's double pivot with Milan league leaders Napoli's closes pursuers heading into the break, but Chelsea reportedly feel they are deliberately restricting Bakayoko's minutes so as not to buy him.