Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco for a fee believed to be £40million.
The France international has signed a five-year contract with the Premier League champions, and will wear the number 14 shirt at the club next season.
The midfield powerhouse played a prominent role in Monaco’s surprise Ligue 1 title-winning campaign last season and their run to the Champions League semi finals.
Antonio Conte is keen to bolster his midfield ahead of the new season with a return to the Champions League placing an extra burden on a squad which swept to the Premier League title last season, without having to contend with the rigours of midweek European football.
Bakayoko, 22, earned his first call-up to the senior France squad earlier this year and is likely to partner his compatriot N’Golo Kante in a new-look Chelsea engine room come August.
The signing of the former Rennes midfielder could pave the way for Nemanja Matic to complete his anticipated move to Manchester United where he will team up with former Blues manager Jose Mourinho.
Conte, meanwhile, is reportedly also pushing for Chelsea to sign both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alvaro Morata having pushed last season’s top scorer Diego Costa towards the exit door with a controversial text message earlier this summer.
The Italian has also already sanctioned the sales of Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovic to Bournemouth, Nathaniel Chalobah to Watford and allowed John Terry to join Aston Villa on a free transfer.
Willy Caballero has arrived, meanwhile, from Manchester City to provide competition for the club’s established No.1 goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.