Despite extensive and expensive recruitment in recent seasons, Chelsea seemingly appear keen to strengthen once again this summer – sanctions permitting – with central midfield one area that could well be bolstered in the near future.
While Thomas Tuchel currently has the likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho at his disposal – with Conor Gallagher also set to return to the first-team fold next season – there has been a suggestion that a younger face may be needed in the centre of the park, amid rumours of potential Blues’ long-term interest in both Declan Rice and his England colleague, Jude Bellingham.
One name that has also emerged who could well fit the bill is Monaco man Aurelien Tchouameni, with the 22-year-old deemed the best midfielder in Ligue 1 by former boss Niko Kovac, while he has also seemingly cemented his place alongside Paul Pogba in central midfield for Didier Deschamps’ France side, despite vast competition for places.
The towering, 6 foot 3 midfielder had excited many of a Blues persuasion after the recent rumours of a potential move to Stamford Bridge, although those hopes – and any possible deal – look to have gone up in smoke…
What’s the news?
According to Marca (via the Daily Express), the west London outfit have slipped out of the running for his signature owing to the current sanctions placed on the club, which look set to prevent Tuchel and co from conducting any transfer dealings unless a takeover is agreed.
As per the report, the Premier League outfit had previously been the ‘best-placed’ team to sign the young Frenchman, although are now viewed as a ‘discarded destination’ due to their off-field turbulence.
The report goes on to suggest it is now a straight fight between both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain to secure his services, with any hope for the Blues seemingly extinguished.
This latest update will no doubt serve as a significant blow for both fans and the club alike, as they look set to miss out on a player who Premier League legend Cesc Fabregas insisted “has the potential to be the complete midfielder”, having seen Tchouameni’s talent first-hand during their time together for the Ligue 1 side.
The Rouen-born starlet – dubbed “extraordinary” by Les Bleus midfielder partner Pogba – appeared the perfect fit for Tuchel’s current system, having thrived in a midfield two as part of a 3-4-3 formation with the national team.
Equally, his arrival would have potentially provided the German with the chance to change shape if needed, with the £36m-rated talent also equally as comfortable at the base of the midfield in a holding role, hence Real Madrid’s interest in the player as a long-term replacement for multiple Champions League winner, Casemiro.
At present, the Blues seemingly have no natural fit as an out-and-out defensive midfielder, while with both Kante and Jorginho now 30 plus, some younger, fresher legs may well be needed to maintain the club’s current relentless form across all fronts.
Despite his relative youth, the former Bordeaux man – who moved to Stade Louis II in January 2020 – is already a Nations League winner and has eight caps for his country, with the early evidence indicating he will go on to become a real force at international level and for whichever club is lucky enough to snap him up in the near future.
AND in other news, Chelsea handed double injury boost ahead of Brentford clash…