Chelsea are the favourites to snap up Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, according to ESPN journalist Julien Laurens.
A number of teams, including Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool, are said to be keen on the France international but Laurens claims the Blues are leading the race after having done a lot of the legwork:
“Chelsea are a step ahead of everybody else. As a player and as an agent, you know some clubs have been following you for so long, longer than others. Even when [Tchouameni was] at Bordeaux before and not a France international or anything like this, I think that counts because Chelsea know him so well inside out and they have already made a few approaches.”
“I think this is an advantage to have in a race like this when you have other big clubs like Manchester United maybe even [Manchester] City, who are also interested and have been looking at him. It’s good for Chelsea to be a little bit ahead of the curve.”
Tchouameni is believed to be valued at around €50m (£41.8m), which would make him a lot cheaper than West Ham’s Declan Rice. There are, however, question marks over whether he is ready to play in the Premier League.
Although he has excelled since being handed his debut for France’s senior team, his form for Monaco has been unspectacular. He is a good holding midfielder but lacks the all-round game that Rice possesses.
At 21 years of age, Tchouameni does have massive potential, though, so Chelsea may feel he is worth the investment after having put a lot of effort into pursuing him already.