Thomas Tuchel has urged Chelsea to beat Manchester United to the signing of Aurelien Tchouameni ‘at all costs’.
Tchouameni has emerged as one of the finest young talents in European football in the last year, starring for Monaco and the France international team.
Paul Pogba played alongside Tchouameni in France’s 2-1 win over Spain in the Nations League final in October, and hailed his “extraordinary” talent.
Pogba said: “Very, very good. He’s not a boy, he’s a man.
“It’s a pleasure to play next to him. He brings a lot of energy. A lot of energy, extraordinary technical and physical quality.
“We wish him to play a lot more games and that I am always by his side.”
Despite Chelsea’s strength in the two holding midfield roles, they have struggled with absnences in those positions this season, and with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho both now 30 years old, Tuchel wants fresh blood in the middle of the park.
Conor Gallagher is expected to return from his loan at Crystal Palace to stake a claim for a place in the Chelsea team next season, but his form hasn’t lessened their interest in Tchouameni.
The 21-year-old – valued by Monaco at €80million – is also on United’s radar, with some reports suggesting the Red Devils are leading the race.
But Marca (via football.london) claim Tuchel has singled out Tchouameni as his number one target and he’s told Chelsea to land him ‘at all costs’ this summer.
In an interview with L’Equipe, Tchouameni has previously discussed his future, insisting that he does not let it distract him from his work with Monaco.
“I remember I was in Paris, after the Nations League. I woke up and my phone had blown up,” he said.
“My father called me, we talked about everything and he told me that I was on the front page of Marca. I went on Twitter and saw for myself.
“I told him it was cool, but what does it actually matter? It doesn’t. The front page of Marca will not define me or allow me to perform well in matches. It’s not real life, but it is the media world, the football business. They talk about me today but tomorrow, they’ll be talking about another.
“In the dressing room, they put the cover up and laughed’ ‘Oh, you’re leaving us already?’ It’s flattering, but I don’t wake up in the morning thinking about it.”