In pictures: Chelsea v Crystal Palace
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Chelsea have received a transfer boost in their pursuit of young Frenchman Aurelien Tchouameni. The Monaco midfielder was supposedly being tailed by Manchester United, but with recent reports suggesting that the Red Devils are no longer in contention, the ball would appear to be in Chelsea’s court as to whether they press on with the deal.
United had been linked with another young French midfielder earlier this summer in Eduardo Camavinga.
Those talks stalled, however, when discussions were described as ‘discouraging’ based on the player’s preference to eventually play in Spain.
On the field, Tchouameni fits a similar mould to the Rennes teenager, although a report from the Manchester Evening News claims that United are not interested in recruiting the 21-year-old, at least not this summer.
Chelsea are in the race, however, as transfer insider Simon Phillips claims that the Blues have already held talks with the player’s representatives.
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The Blues have been linked with Declan Rice at various points this summer, although West Ham’s unwillingness to play ball has left the deal dead in the water.
Tchouameni would be a much cheaper alternative at around £34million, which is hardly breaking the bank according to today’s transfer standards.
Monaco’s youngster enjoyed a breakthrough campaign last time out, and he has already featured in four games this season which illustrates his importance to his team at present.
The fact remains, however, that French sides are forced to listen to sensible offers for their top talent due to the financial fallout of a collapsed broadcast deal last season.
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An issue could yet lie in the fact that Chelsea are already well-stocked with midfielders, as Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic all embark on the new season in solid form.
However, the opportunity to improve squad depth is rarely turned down, particularly in light of the fact that Chelsea are expected to face a demanding season ahead.
Having romped to an unlikely Champions League triumph by overcoming Manchester City in the final, the emphasis this season is likely to be on their Premier League performance.
A fourth-place finish may have turned out differently if Thomas Tuchel had been in charge for the whole season, which is why big things are expected of them in the coming months.
Romelu Lukaku has so far been their only major signing of the summer, and the Serie A Player of the Year for last season could catapult them to the next level.
All in all, it would be an exciting project for Tchouameni to be a part of. United seem to have withdrawn from the race to sign him, so the next move lies with Chelsea.
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