The French midfielder was one of the stars of AS Monaco’s Ligue 1 title-winning side last term, and the 22-year-old also shone in the Champions League.
Antonio Conte has been keen to bolster his options in midfield, and regards Bakayoko as a near-perfect partner for French compatriot N’Golo Kante.
We understand that Chelsea have agreed a deal with Monaco worth £40million having held off a late charge from Manchester United. The transfer is set to be completed after a medical on Friday.
Standard Sport reported in March that Conte had been handed significant funds for four key additions improve his title-winning squad.
Conte’s demands have since risen to six new faces, with Bakayoko one of the Italian’s key targets.
A £40m deal would seem fairly insignificant to the club and is certainly within their means.
Chelsea tried to sign Bakayoko during the January transfer window, and the France international has been Conte’s top midfielder target for the past seven months.
Conte is willing to risk losing Nemanja Matic and potentially alienating Nathaniel Chalobah, so the coach clearly sees Bakayoko as a priority signing.
Bakayoko joined Monaco from Rennes in 2014 and is still on the same low salary he was given on arrival, which is believed to be worth less than £20,000-a-week.
While the 22-year-old was not happy with Chelsea’s initial wage proposal, a deal has now been reached with a significant increase on his Monaco contract a given.
Former Chelsea midfielder and coach Ray Wilkins has publically questioned the move, with the opinion that Nathaniel Chalobah is a better alternative.
Bakayoko scouting report: How will he fit in to Chelsea’s midfield?
Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim has heralded Bakayoko’s ability to win the ball and move possession up-field . Elsewhere, France boss Didier Deschamps has described him as a ‘fairly complete midfielder’.
Opta report the only Atletico Madrid’s Gabi and Leicester Danny Drinkwater broke up more attacks in the Champions League last season. Bakayoko completed more passes than any other Monaco player last term, also.
The writing would appear to be on the wall for the Serbian. Matic came close to leaving Stamford Bridge last summer before Conte intervened, with Liverpool and Juventus both interested last summer.
Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is seeking a reunion with Matic at Manchester United for £40m, but the Blues will not do business with their rivals after being beaten to the punch for Romelu Lukaku. Instead Chelsea are in talks with Inter Milan over a £34.5m switch.