Chelsea-owned Bakayoko hints at Monaco stay

Tiemoue Bakayoko, Monaco
The 25-year-old has never really settled at the Blues, and could be set to make his switch back to the Riviera a permanent one

Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has hinted that his playing days at Stamford Bridge are over while leaping to the defence of his current manager, Monaco's Leonardo Jardim.

The 25-year-old. who joined the Blues in 2017, has only spent one full season at the club since his arrival from the Monegasque outfit, after failing to figure in either Maurizio Sarri or Frank Lampard's plans.

Under the former Italian boss, he spent the 2018-19 campaign with Milan, missing out on his parent club's Europa League success, while under the Englishman, he has returned to his former club, with whom he previously won the Ligue 1 title before his departure.

Jardim too returned to the club last season after being briefly replaced by Thierry Henry, but he has struggled to turn around their fortunes following a close relegation battle last season, with a 0-0 draw against Stade Reims the latest result in a winless run since the start of the new campaign.

Bakayoko, who signed a five-year contract upon arrival at Chelsea, has never quite settled with the club due to his subsequent stints around the rest of the continent, and the Blues would be happy to let him go for a fee in order to free up space next year when their transfer ban concludes.

Speaking to Canal Plus after Monaco's latest result, the France international's comments seemed to suggest too that he sees both his and Jardim's long-term future with Monaco, after he launched an impassioned defence of the manager's skill to the club's fans following their difficult start to the season.

Addressing his conversations with supporters following their draw, he stated: “We just went to listen to them. We can understand their disappointment.

"We really had the heart to win the three points tonight. We can understand their impatience. It was important to talk to them, listen to what they have to say.

"At the end, we applauded them because they continue to motivate us, be there for us. We must really try to pay them back as quickly as possible.

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"[Jardim] is the same coach that I have known for five years. He is still very motivated, he really wants to take us as high as possible. He is close to us, he tries to give us confidence.

"I really want everyone to support him, that we try to be with him and to listen to him. He has proved that he is a truly great manager. I want him to be here for several more seasons."