Tiemoue Bakayoko could be send back to Chelsea after he was spotted apparently telling AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso to“f*ck off” as he took too long to come off the bench in Monday’s clash with Bologna. The 24-year-old apparently failed to come off the bench to replace Lucas Biglia in the first half amid an altercation with his manager.
The midfielder, on loan at Milan from Chelsea, was dropped to the bench for the Serie A clash at San Siro but was called on by Gattuso to replace Lucas Biglia, who went off midway through the first half. When the coach went to ask the France international to replace him, Bakayoko did not seem to be ready immediately. The 41-year-old had a brief discussion with Bakayoko, which ended with the latter telling the ex-Milan and Rangers star to “f*ck off”.
Gattuso then went on to speak to Jose Mauri, who took to the field to replace Biglia instead. Bakayoko was reportedly left out of the starting XI in the first place because he had turned up an hour late for training on Wednesday. But Gattuso said the air was cleared between the 24-year-old and his team-mates after he said he was sorry.
“We have settled our differences and he has apologised to the team. Everything is back to normal with him,” said Gattuso. “The training retreat was a difficult choice but there are rules to follow which are valid for everyone. We have to be aware of the team we play for and our values. “In times of difficulty we all have to understand our responsibilities. We’ve been together at Milanello for about four days now and it has brought us closer together.”
The 24-year-old has impressed since moving to Milan from Stamford Bridge, prompting suggestions from Gattuso and Paolo Maldini that the Italian side will pay the €35 million (£30m/$39m) needed to make his deal permanent this summer: “At this moment we cannot do without him, he must remain at Milan,” Gattuso said in February. “He is proving his technical skills. You know that I am not in charge of the finances, but he is certainly giving us fundamental improvements. “He can become an important player for this club for many years.”
Gattuso also had his say on the row with Tiemoue Bakayoko behind closed doors after being abused by the midfielder amid a sideline bust-up at San Siro. The latest indiscretion seems set to be the death knell for Bakayoko’s career at the club as a turbulent season-long loan from Premier League side Chelsea comes to a close. His relationship with Rossoneri great Gattuso was already at a low ebb after arriving late to a training session in the lead-up to what eventually proved a crucial win for Milan’s top-four hopes.
“I told Bakayoko to warm up, but it took him eight minutes to get ready,” Gattuso said of the mid-match incident in a post-game interview with Sky Sport Italia. “Anybody can insult me, but we’ll meet afterwards and look eye to eye. “I want to speak to him in the change room and in my language, which I can’t do on TV. “The priority right now isn’t my ego nor the players’. We wear a glorious shirt and have to do the right things. “At the end of the year we will give report cards, like in school, and we will see who has behaved well and who has behaved badly.”
Milan needed three points to close back to within touching distance of fourth-placed Atalanta and secured the result courtesy of goals from Suso and Fabio Borini.
Mattia Destro reduced the deficit in the second half and the hosts were made to survive the final 15 minutes with 10 men after a frustrated Lucas Paqueta slapped the match official’s arm. It was the second red card in as many matches for Milan, who lost captain Alessio Romagnoli during last weekend’s defeat to Torino.
“He’s young. He was fouled, put his hands on the referee, I don’t think he realised what he was doing,” Gattuso said of Paqueta’s sending off. “[The ill-discipline] annoys me and we have to improve in this aspect.”
Bakayoko has featured 39 times in all competitions for the Rossoneri, scoring one goal in Serie A.