Chelsea are running in-depth scouting on Aurelien Tchouameni and focusing less on Declan Rice in a transfer boost for Manchester United, according to a report.
Both players are exciting midfielders still in the early stages of their career and they have had links with the Premier League clubs. While Rice is an established Premier League and England midfielder, he remains only 22.
France international Tchouameni, meanwhile, is a standout Monaco star and, at 21, has played seven times for his country.
Both stars have therefore had transfer links with moves away, especially to the English top flight. Chelsea reportedly tracked Tchouameni last summer and he is still a target for the Blues.
However, Rice is a more long-term target for Chelsea. Reports claim, though, that United believe they can get a deal for the Englishman underway soon because of West Ham’s recent poor form.
And, according to Goal, they have somewhat been given a freer run at Rice.
That is because Chelsea are now putting more focus on scouting Tchouameni. Indeed, the Blues are ‘analysing his attitude and personal life’.
They could therefore make a bid next summer for a player who would cost less than Rice.
Man United will sign Rice in the summer
The Red Devils know they will have to pay at least £100m for him.
Reports have claimed that Rice would cost £100million. However, the word from West Ham boss David Moyes has been, for some time, that the midfielder is worth “far, far more”.
While Chelsea are still considering a move for Rice, Goal adds that they will not sign both.
Instead, they want to integrate Crystal Palace loanee Conor Gallagher into the first team. The 21-year-old has turned heads at Selhurst Park as one of the signings of the Premier League season.
And Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has insisted that he feels “convinced” by the midfielder’s ability.
Declan Rice given transfer advice
Still, Rice could yet get a big-money move across England.
Graeme Souness wrote in a recent newspaper column that he initially feared for Rice’s ability to play in midfield.
However, after his recent development for both club and country, he said: “He could, ultimately, still play at the back, but right now that would be like tying his bootlaces together because he has so much energy to burn and the technique to get out of tight areas.
“I still want him to see the picture and deliver the pass earlier, to make more telling passes in the final third, but that could come with confidence and he rarely gives the ball away.”
Rice and Tchouameni have both played vital roles for West Ham and Monaco, respectively.