Premier League • England

Todd Boehly, Marina Granovskaia rift emerges as former Chelsea chief snubs chance to capture £88m Real Madrid star

Aurelien Tchouameni and Federico Valverde

A report has detailed Todd Boehly’s frustration at former Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia passing up on the chance to sign Real Madrid star Aurelien Tchouameni.

The central midfielder became a star for Monaco after joining them from French rivals Bordeaux in January 2020. Tchouameni went on to make 95 appearances for Monaco, gaining experience in both Ligue 1 and the Europa League.

His top displays got several of Europe’s biggest teams planning a transfer. Liverpool were heavily linked with the 22-year-old as a potential successor to Fabinho in the centre of the pitch.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City were also keeping tabs on his situation. However, the Premier League clubs lost out as he went on to join Spanish giants Real instead.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side announced Tchouameni’s arrival at the Bernabeu on June 11. According to Eurosport, he cost £88million (€100m).

Tchouameni is already impressing Real fans. He has won over Ancelotti too, leading to him playing a full 90 minutes in four out of Real’s last five league outings.

The Frenchman, who has won 12 caps under Didier Deschamps, started in midfield alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric as Los Blancos beat rivals Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

He picked up a 7.64 rating from WhoScored after making two tackles, two interceptions and two clearances, some of the most out of any Real player.

Todd Boehly admiration for Aurelien Tchouameni emerges

Following the performance, Spanish newspaper Sport have shed some light on Chelsea’s interest in Tchouameni. While Liverpool were heavily touted as his prime suitors, alongside Real, Sport claim Boehly was desperate to bring Tchouameni to Stamford Bridge.

The new majority owner knows Chelsea are in need of midfield reinforcements. N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are both in the final 12 months of their Blues contracts. And Fabrizio Romano thinks they need a new midfielder to help Graham Potter succeed as boss.

Boehly wanted then Chelsea director Granovskaia to pursue Tchouameni, prior to him joining Real. However, she snubbed the transfer chance, therefore allowing Ancelotti’s team to land him.

Instead, former manager Thomas Tuchel ended up getting Saul Niguez added to his squad. The Spaniard arrived on a season-long loan from Atleti.

However, he never got used to life in England, or the intensity of the Premier League. His loan move turned out to be a massive failure.

Transfer snub ‘frustrates’ Chelsea owner

Boehly was left ‘frustrated’ by the decision to reject Tchouameni as he knew just how important the former Monaco man could be for Chelsea.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons Granovskaia was let go by the new ownership. On June 22, 11 days after the player had gone to Real, Chelsea announced Granovskaia had left her director role.

Tchouameni would have been a great capture for Chelsea. He is already a great player at 22 years old and looks set to reach the very top, if he is not already there.

The west London outfit have made moves to improve their midfield options and also ensure the future is successful. They have brought in Carney Chukwuemeka and Cesare Casadei from Aston Villa and Inter Milan respectively.

However, the duo are some way behind Tchouameni’s level right now. It will take them several years to reach their full potential, and Chelsea could do with landing a top-class midfielder in the mean time.

Perhaps they could turn to either a Brighton star or an Aston Villa man in the final year of his contract.