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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Bakayoko to Man United, Saints; Kessie to Arsenal

Villarreal v Monaco: UEFA Champions League

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - AUGUST 17: Roberto Soriano (R) of Villarreal competes for the ball with Tiemoue Bakayoko of Monaco during the UEFA Champions League play-off first leg match between Villarreal CF and AS Monaco at El Madrigal on August 17, 2016 in Villarreal, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

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Italian outlet Calciomercato is reporting that both Manchester United and Southampton is keeping a close eye on Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.

[ MORE: Gooch making moves ]

The 22-year-old is a powerful defensive midfielder who has impressed for Ligue 1 leaders Monaco in domestic action and the UEFA Champions League. AC Milan are also said to be interested in making a move for Bakayoko, who joined Monaco from Rennes in 2014. He has played at every youth level for the French national team, making 10 appearances for the U-21 side.

United have a strong need for an out-and-out holding midfielder to get the best out of Paul Pogba and their wide array of attacking talents further up the pitch. Although Ander Herrera has come in and done a good job, Mourinho has always liked to have a strong physical presence in the holding midfield role. Southampton’s manager Claude Puel will now Bakayoko well from his time managing in France and his connections at former club Monaco and Saints have yet to directly replace the loss of Victor Wanyama this summer.

Goal believes that Arsenal is interested in signing Atalanta and Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie, 19.

Kessie has scored four goals in Atalanta’s first five games of the Serie A season and has impressed with marauding runs from central midfield. The teenager is being watched closely by a number of Europe’s top clubs and Kessie’s agent confirmed that the Gunners sent a scout to watch him play against Palermo.

I know what you’re thinking: do Arsenal really need another central midfielder? And you’re right. But, when it comes to picking up talented teenagers and progressing their careers, Arsene Wenger has a very good track record. Look at Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin, Theo Walcott and many others. With Kessie drawing comparisons with Yaya Toure, he’d be a different type of midfielders than what Arsenal already possesses with his ability to break forward with powerful runs from midfield.

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