Jose Mourinho has made Bakayoko his major midfield target this summer, with United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward entrusted with making the move happen.
Bakayoko has been one of Monaco’s stand-out players this season and scored the winner in their 3-1 win over Manchester City that dumped Pep Guardiola’s side out of the Champions League.
United scouts were at that game to watch the dynamic Bakayoko, who has emerged as one of the most coveted young central midfielders in Europe.
The 22-year-old is keen to play for a big-name coach like Mourinho but wants to play in the Champions League next season – something United cannot yet guarantee.
United are currently fifth in the Premier League and their best chance of reaching the Champions League may ultimately be by winning the Europa League this season.
Mourinho sees Bakayoko as the ideal long-term replacement for Michael Carrick, who is likely to leave United this summer after 11 years at Old Trafford.
Chelsea are also keen on Bakayoko and United know their ability to guarantee Champions League football next term could give them a decisive edge in the race to sign him.
Bakayoko is a close friend of United striker Anthony Martial, the pair having played together at Monaco, with the Reds hoping that personal link can help them land him.
Where will Tiemoue Bakayoko be playing next season?
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Bakayoko picks two Manchester United players in his dream eleven