Bakayoko leaves Monaco to join English champion Chelsea

By STEVE DOUGLAS

AP Sports Writer

Monaco sold another member of its young squad that thrilled European soccer last season when France midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko joined Chelsea on Saturday.

The English champion didn't disclose the fee for the 22-year-old central midfielder, who has signed a five-year deal.

"I have grown up watching Chelsea," Bakayoko said. "Signing was the natural thing for me because it is a club I loved very much in my childhood."

He will link up with France teammate N'Golo Kante at Chelsea amid uncertainty about the future of another central midfielder in Nemanja Matic, who has been linked with Manchester United.

Monaco reached the semifinals of the Champions League last season playing some of the best attacking football seen in Europe for years. Inevitably, it left the French club open to offers for some of its star players.

Portugal playmaker Bernardo Silva joined Manchester City for 50 million euros ($55 million). Forward Kylian Mbappe and left back Benjamin Mendy are being linked with moves away from the Ligue 1 club.

Also, Manchester City signed Brazil Under-20 midfielder Douglas Luiz from Vasco da Gama on a five-year deal

City said the club will "make a further statement about Douglas' immediate development pathway in the coming days," suggesting he will be sent out on loan.

Txiki Begiristain, City director of football, said the 19-year-old Luiz is "an exciting player with great potential."

Updated July 15, 2017

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