Tiemoue Bakayoko could be set to leave Chelsea on a season-long loan having fallen down Frank Lampard’s pecking order.
The French midfielder joined Chelsea from AS Monaco for a reported £40 million in 2017 but failed to make a lasting impression at Stamford Bridge.
Bakayoko was then sent out on loan the following season to AC Milan and showed glimpses of promise.
The 24-year-old returned to Cobham looking to earn a space in Lampard’s side but has fallen out of favour as links to another loan persist.
A discouraging pre-season
Bakayoko has struggled for game time over pre-season under Lampard’s reign. The transfer ban has brought a greater emphasis on the utilisation of youth academy players. The likes of Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher were handed minutes and impressed.
From the senior squad only N’Golo Kante, Fikayo Tomori and Danny Drinkwater played fewer minutes than Bakayoko (198) indicating the ex-Monaco midfielder is not in Lampard’s plans.
The midfielder has not been named in the Blues’ two previous matchday squads against RB Salzburg and Borussia Monchengladbach with a move away on the cards.
The agent talks
Bakayoko's agent previously confirmed that the 24-year-old wanted to remain at Chelsea following the return of Champions League football at Stamford Bridge.
Abdoulaye Bakayoko, Tiemoue's brother and agent told L'Equipe: "There are some quite interesting clubs, some quite big ones who have made enquiries, but we are giving our priority to Chelsea.
"We know already, there is Champions’ League and stability. Tiémoué has decided to stay.”
The tide has changed and a move to Turkey looks to be the midfielder’s next destination.
The next step
It has been reported that Galatasaray S.K. have opened talks to sign the Frenchman on loan for the forthcoming season.
A combination of Champions League football and game-time on the table, the Turkish champions could be the perfect destination for Bakayoko.
There is a plethora of competition in the Blues midfield with the likes of Jorginho, Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Mason Mount leaving Lampard numerous options oppose to Bakayoko.