Chelsea have reportedly initiated contact with AS Monaco for the potential signing of 21-year-old French defensive midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni.
According to a report from the print edition of Spanish publication MARCA (h/t Sport Witness), Chelsea have made contact with Ligue 1 outfit AS Monaco to explore the possibility of signing Aurelien Tchouameni in 2022.
Tchouameni has been with Monaco since January 2020, when he arrived from boyhood club, Bordeaux. While he had some difficulties early on in his tenure the 21-year-old enjoyed a brilliant last season with the Principality outfit, going on to be named the Best Young Player of the Year in Ligue 1.
On the back of his displays, Tchouameni has also managed to break into the France national team and played a key role in their UEFA Nations League finals triumph over Spain this past weekend. His rapid rise to prominence has not gone unnoticed with several top clubs across Europe taking a keen interest.
Among those clubs are Chelsea, who have been strongly linked with a move for Tchouameni for a while now. The Blues have a stocked midfield unit with N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek while the likes of Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher will provide more options when they return from their respective loan spells.
— Tchouameni Aurélien (@atchouameni) October 11, 2021
However, both Kante and Jorginho will be entering the final year of their contracts at the end of the season. Furthermore, the former is into his thirties and has been bogged down by injury problems quite a bit recently, potentially hinting that it is time for Chelsea to put a long-term succession plan in place for him at Stamford Bridge.
Given his age and the immense potential that he has displayed in his fledgeling career, Tchouameni could prove to be a top signing for Chelsea. To that end, they have now seemingly approached Monaco to assess the possibility of a transfer for the five-time capped France international, although they will have to face competition from Juventus who have also held talks.
In addition to the Bianconeri, Real Madrid are also said to challenging Chelsea for the signing of the 21-year-old, making things difficult further. Recent reports had indicated that Monaco are likely to demand a transfer fee of around €40 million for Tchouameni. However, given the rising interest in him, that valuation could shoot up between now and the summer.
It will be interesting to see if Chelsea press ahead with their pursuit of the ex-Bordeaux starlet and whether they can beat the other clubs vying for his signing.