Chelsea could reportedly see a possible €35m permanent exit for Tiemoue Bakayoko to AC Milan collapse after he was subjected to racist abuse from Lazio fans this week.
The 24-year-old joined the Italian giants on an initial season-long loan deal last summer, and after a rocky start to life in Serie A, he has settled and established himself as a key figure in coach Gennaro Gattuso’s side.
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Bakayoko has made 38 appearances for Milan to date, as they continue to scrap for a top-four finish in Serie A to secure a return to the Champions League next season.
However, they suffered a setback in midweek as they crashed out of the Coppa Italia after a defeat to Lazio in the second leg of their semi-final tie.
The game was marred by incidents off the pitch though, as Lazio fans were heard singing racist chants aimed at Bakayoko before, during and after the game, while an inflatable banana was seen in the stands in the away end, as detailed here.
According to Goal Italy, that could have a major impact on Bakayoko’s future now as it’s suggested that he could opt to snub a long-term stay in Italy as he’s been left upset and disappointed not only with the behaviour of the Lazio fans, but also the lack of action being taken by the authorities.
It’s noted in that report that the Chelsea loanee has an option to buy worth €35m in his current deal at Milan, and so if he were to communicate a desire to leave at the end of the season, then perhaps the club would opt against trying to sign him outright from the Blues.
Time will tell how the situation develops, but there is absolutely no doubt that the disgraceful scenes created by the minority of Lazio fans can’t be repeated, and the FIGC need to actually do something to prevent it.
For Milan, they must continue to focus on their Champions League battle, with a failure to qualify also potentially scuppering their hopes of splashing out on Bakayoko this summer.