Chelsea have reportedly set their sights on Aurelien Tchouameni, with the 21-year-old French midfielder eyed as an alternative to Declan Rice.

According to reputed Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano on his Twitch stream, as quoted by Tribal Football, Chelsea seem to be keeping their options open in case they are unable to sign Declan Rice in the summer transfer window. To that end, 21-year-old French midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni is viewed as a possible alternative to the English international.

Aurelien Tchouameni is a player who has grabbed a lot of eyeballs ever since he first broke into the Bordeaux first-team squad three years ago. Since then, the 21-year-old has made the step up to AS Monaco and continued his remarkable progress, so much so that he is now widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in Ligue 1.

2020/21 proved to be a true breakthrough campaign for the Frenchman, who featured in every single game for Monaco when fit and available, raking in 42 appearances across all competitions while also chipping in with three goals and four assists. Tchouameni was also named the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year while also making it to the Ligue 1 Team of the Year. And all this has alerted Chelsea, among others.

Chelsea primarily hold an interest in signing Declan Rice but are having to identify alternatives for the English international, who has also been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United. The eagerness to sign Rice is understandable despite the fact that the Blues have quality midfielders like N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic in the first-team squad.

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However, with Billy Gilmour loaned out to Norwich City for the 2020/21 season, a spot in the Chelsea midfield department has opened up, one that is unlikely to be filled by returning loanees like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Ethan Ampadu, among others. Rice is, therefore, a viable target for Chelsea, with Tchouameni also on their radar, as per Fabrizio Romano.

The reputed Italian journalist said on Twitch stream, “At the moment, Chelsea’s priority in midfield is Declan Rice. If they will sign a midfielder, Declan Rice will be one of the biggest possibilities. Then, they have to find an agreement with West Ham, and it won’t be easy because West Ham are asking for a lot of money for him.

“We have to keep an eye on [Aurelien] Tchouameni as a possibility for many Premier League clubs, not just for Chelsea. We will see. At the moment there’s nothing imminent.”

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Apart from the 21-year-old, Chelsea are also eyeing Julian Weigl as a potential alternative to Rice. As for the interest in Tchouameni, with other Premier League clubs also keeping a keen eye on his progress, Chelsea will need to move quickly in his pursuit while deciding whether they pull the trigger for him or Rice this summer.

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