'Everyone knows that Milan is in my heart' - Chelsea outcast Bakayoko opens door to San Siro return

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Tiemoue Bakayoko Chelsea 2019
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The French midfielder has been tipped to seal a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge after returning to the club from a loan spell at Monaco

Chelsea outcast Tiemoue Bakayoko has opened the door to a possible return to San Siro, admitting "everyone knows that Milan is in my heart".

The Blues invested £40 million ($52m) in Bakayoko's talents in the summer of 2017, after watching him play a key role in Monaco's run to Ligue 1 glory.

Unfortunately, the French midfielder failed to reach the same heights during his debut season in the Premier League, and quickly fell down the squad pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

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Chelsea ultimately decided to send Bakayoko out on loan to AC Milan for the duration of the 2018-19 campaign, where he was able to show glimpses of his best form as the Rossoneri narrowly missed out on a top-four Serie A finish.

However, the Italian outfit passed up the chance to sign him permanently, and he was subsequently shipped out on loan once again last summer, this time back to former club Monaco.

The 25-year-old played 23 games for the French side before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, and now finds himself back at Chelsea, where he is contracted to remain until 2022.

It has been reported Milan have opened talks with the Blues over another loan deal for Bakayoko, with an option to buy for €35m (£32m/$41m) set to be included in any final agreement.

When asked to address the ongoing speculation surrounding his future, the former Monaco star fuelled talk of an impending return to San Siro by telling Tuttomercatoweb: "Everyone knows that Milan is in my heart and I have good memories.

"At the moment I'm a Chelsea player, then we'll see in football."

Should Bakayoko end up making his way back to the Italian capital this summer, he will join up with a Milan side very much in the ascendancy under Stefano Pioli.

The Rossoneri picked up more points in Serie A post-lockdown that any other side, winning nine and drawing three of their final 12 fixtures.

That impressive run convinced the Milan board to stick with Pioli, despite his failure to deliver Champions League qualification, with a much-publicised pursuit of former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick eventually abandoned.

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