Premier League • England

Aurelien Tchouameni reveals why he rejected Liverpool as extreme measures from Jurgen Klopp fails to derail Real Madrid transfer

Aurelien Tchouameni of Monaco celebrates a goal against Sparta Prague the UEFA Champions League 3rd qualifying round

Aurelien Tchouameni has explained why he only had eyes for Real Madrid despite Liverpool’s best efforts after finalising his move to the Bernabeu.

The Reds were in the market to land the talented 22-year-old midfielder this summer after it became apparent he would leave Monaco. With a year left on his deal, the Ligue 1 outfit were powerless to block his transfer with talks on a new deal stalling. And with Liverpool making the early inroads, it appeared that a blockbuster move to Anfield was on.

With Liverpool’s midfield ageing, a move for Tchouameni was seen as something of a no-brainer. Indeed, Thiago, Jordan Henderson and the Peter Pan of football, James Milner, are all on the wrong side of 30. Ultimately, they will all need replacing.

And so desperate was Jurgen Klopp to bring Tchouameni to Anfield that the Liverpool manager went to extreme measures to secure his signing.

Indeed, Klopp himself reportedly made a personal trip to Monaco to try and persuade the midfielder to sign. Furthermore, he also held another chat with the player in order to convince him to sign.

The Reds, though, were not alone in their pursuit of the star. Indeed, Chelsea, PSG, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were all strongly linked with moves.

Ultimately, it came down to a choice between Real, PSG and Liverpool.

However, it became clear that Real had won the chase last week, with the player signing on the dotted line on Tuesday.

Aurelien Tchouameni only had eyes for Real Madrid

His signing has cost Real Madrid in the region of £68m – their fourth most costly signing in their history.

And the player had no hesitation in explaining why he only had eyes for Real, despite Liverpool and PSG’s best efforts.

“As soon as Real Madrid arrived on the scene, I did not hesitate,” he said at his unveiling. “I want to leave a mark on football and the best club for this is Real Madrid. It’s the best decision for me.”

France teammate Kylian Mbappe also tried luring the player to Paris, though those pleas also fell on deaf ears.

Tchouameni explained: “Kylian decided to stay at PSG and he already knew that I was going to leave Monaco. He wanted to know if I could go to PSG too. But I told him I wanted Madrid and he understood perfectly.

“When Madrid called, I didn’t hesitate and I talked about it with my family.”

Tchouameni admits Real Madrid’s Champions League success did play a part in his thinking.

He added: “In the Champions League final there were already negotiations between me and Real Madrid. It is true that when I watched the games against PSG and Man City, I wrote to my agent and told him: do everything possible to take me there, please.”

Liverpool miss out – but Klopp will find others

Liverpool may have missed out, but the Reds are not ones to hang around in the window as their capture of Darwin Nunez shows.

Granted, the miss of Tchouameni will be felt, given how keen Klopp was on bringing him to Anfield.

But Liverpool will undoubtedly have a long list of midfielders who they deem as worthy of bringing to Anfield.

Furthermore, very few players turn down Liverpool FC and Klopp can consider himself unfortunate he’s missed out.

It will also be interesting to see how Tchouameni fares at Real Madrid.

Tchouameni chooses Real Madrid over Liverpool

Real Madrid win the race for the Tchouameni against Liverpool reports say

Competition for places is very tough with Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro, Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga all competing for roles in central midfield.

And now having Aurelien Tchouameni in there will surely only complicate matters.

As for Liverpool, Klopp has spoken out over their club-record capture of Nunez.