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Chelsea’s £35m Bakayoko swoop is a slap in the face for Chalobah, blasts Wilkins

Date Posted,June 22, 2017

Ray Wilkins has criticised Chelsea for planning a £35million swoop for Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko instead of sticking with ­ Nathaniel Chalobah .

Bakayoko helped his club to the French title and the semi-­finals of the Champions League and Antonio Conte has been chasing him for some time.

The midfielder made his debut for France last month and is so highly-rated at Stamford Bridge that Chelsea are willing to listen to offers for Nemanja Matic .

But Wilkins believes Conte should put even more faith in England Under-21 star Chalobah, who earned himself a Premier League winners’ medal.

He impressed in a defensive midfield role at the U21 Euros and has nearly a century of caps for England’s age-group teams.

Following loan spells at six clubs, Wilkins believes the 22-year-old is just as good as ­Bakayoko and would save on the transfer fee.

Chelsea are closing in on Tiemoue Bakayoko (Photo: REUTERS)

The Blues ­legend (left) said: “I was really ­disappointed to read they are ­looking at ­Bakayoko from Monaco. He is 22, French and doesn’t get near the national side, but it was quoted Chelsea might be ­paying £32m.

“Well, in Nathaniel they have a footballer who can play exactly the same but just needs an opportunity”

Pointing to the U21 Euros, he told talkSPORT: “You’ve seen ­already in the two games he’s played he looks a class act in and among people of his own age. Playing with the top ­quality players they have at Chelsea, he can only ­improve week to week.”

Nathaniel Chalobah could see his opportunities limited (Photo: Getty Images Europe)

Chalobah made 15 ­appearances for Chelsea last season. He is not expected to go on loan next term, but again faces trying to impress from the bench.

Chelsea are preparing to step up their bid for ­ Juventus left-back Alex ­Sandro. The Italian ­champions rejected an offer of about £45m and want closer to £60m.

Juve chief executive ­Giuseppe Marotta said “We’ve no intention of selling anyone but we don’t keep anyone against their will.”

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