AC Milan have essentially been presented with a situation where if they want to bring Tiemoue Bakayoko back, then they can.
The player seems more than happy to return – as per virtually every media outlet anyway – and all that remains is to weigh up the economic aspect of the deal.
MilanNews have done exactly that, as they have analysed the costs that might be involved in re-signing the Frenchman in the upcoming window.
Bakayoko was bought by Chelsea in the summer of 2017 for €40million. The following year, after a poor season in London, the Blues decided to let him go, sending him to Milan with the intention of not losing a penny.
He joined on a paid loan of €5million and plus an option to buy set at €35m which was not exercised. Had the Rossoneri bought him in 2019, Chelsea would have scored a capital gain of €16million due to amortisation.
Now, after a return to Monaco on loan that did not go perfectly, Bakayoko will return to Chelsea with a remaining value on the balance sheet of €15.3m, which will become €14.6m in September.
Roman Abramovic’s club rarely give discounts, so the demand is likely to be €20m, unless Milan are able to seal a one-year loan with obligation to buy at a slightly lower figure.
The real problem, however, is Bakayoko’s €6.5million salary. If Bakayoko really wants to dress the Rossoneri again, he will have to spread his residual salary which in September will be around €12m net (his contract expires in 2022).
It could therefore become a four-year deal at €2.5m net plus bonus, to reach around €12m in total. The entire operation, if it were structured like this, would cost Milan about €35-40m in total, not a small amount but it must be considered that last year it could have been twice as much.
What Milan must evaluate in the next few weeks is how to structure their midfield. Stefano Pioli asked for two ‘starters’ Bennacer and Kessie, therefore ready-to-use players who can alternate with the aforementioned.
Florentino Luis is a name that keeps coming up, but MilanNews add that it is unlikely the club will spend ‘big’ on two players. What is more likely is that the slot of the fourth midfielder can be taken by a young player like Tommaso Pobega.
Consequently – given the age of Bennacer (21) and Kessie (23) – opting for an experienced player might be the best solution. Bakayoko is far from old as he has not yet turned 26, he would not cost a fortune and could regularly alternate with the African duo.
The real question mark is linked to his physical condition as his last official match was back on March 7. If Milan bought him at the end of the window, therefore late September, the Frenchman will have gone seven months without a proper game.
It would take time and patience to get him back to optimum levels, but Pioli’s system might be what is needed to get Bakayoko back into the swing of things.