AC Milan are now reportedly convinced they want to spend €35m to sign Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko permanently, once his loan deal at the San Siro comes to an end.
The French midfielder endured a torrid debut season in the Premier League, prompting the Blues to ship him out on loan to Milan last summer. After a challenging start, Bakayoko has now developed into one of the side's most important players, showcasing the form which initially attracted Chelsea in 2017.
Many at Milan, including manager Gennaro Gattuso, felt Bakayoko would be another expensive flop but, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, they are now prepared to activate the €35m clause in his contract to sign Bakayoko permanently, having been stunned by his work rate and improvement.
Club officials are now said to be convinced that such a price tag represents an incredible deal for the club, similar to the fees paid for both Lucas Paqueta and Krzysztof Piatek, who already look to be two great pieces of business by the Rossoneri.
Bakayoko's Milan career began with a series of substitute appearances but, just as he had with Chelsea, the Frenchman looked to be struggling with many aspects of his game. There were even rumours that the Serie A side were desperate to terminate his loan deal early, but things quickly turned around.
Towards the end of 2018, the former Monaco man enjoyed a drastic upturn in form and, after starting in the 2-1 win over Genoa on 31 October, Bakayoko has missed just two league games, as he has gone on to establish himself as a vital part of the team.
The decision to sign Bakayoko permanently comes at a troubling time for Milan, who have been forced to deal with disciplinary issues with two other midfielders.
During the recent Milan derby, Franck Kessie and Lucas Biglia could be seen fighting on the bench, and Milan are said to be furious with Kessie, even going as far as considering his long-term future at the club.
Bakayoko has regularly lined up alongside Kessie, but could find himself acting as a replacement for the Ivorian in the near future.