Chelsea quick to hit back at Man Utd move as race for midfield star takes twist

Date published: Thursday 19th August 2021 2:37 - Jonny Whitfield

Aurelien Tchouameni of Monaco v Lorient

Chelsea have held another round of discussions with the representatives of Aurelien Tchouameni following Manchester United transfer interest, a report claims.

Both Premier League clubs have bolstered significantly in a bid to generate a title charge this season. United have added to attack and defence, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane arriving. Chelsea, meanwhile, have boxed off their need for a new goal-getter by re-signing Romelu Lukaku.

As for a potential midfield addition, United’s need is currently greater than Chelsea’s. Indeed, Paul Pogba – who showed his best form in Saturday’s win over Leeds – has entered the last year of his contract.

Still, Monaco’s Tchouameni has earned mentions as being a target for both clubs.

Chelsea have had a longer-term interest, with more recent reports claiming that United have registered interest.

According to the latest from Chelsea journalist Simon Phillips, the Blues have initiated fresh contact over Tchouameni.

However, the reporter does not say whether those talks were fruitful, or whether Chelsea’s interest remains at the same stage.

Tchouameni is just 21 years old, but played in 36 Ligue 1 games for Monaco last season.

Furthermore, that represented his first full year there after joining midway through the previous campaign, from Bordeaux.

The France under-21 international has a contract with Monaco until 2024. Juventus were also keen, but they have signed Manuel Locatelli from Sassuolo in a similar position.

United’s interest reportedly sees them eye Tchouameni as a potential Pogba successor.

Journalist Duncan Castles said: “If they have that space in their squad created by Pogba, then Tchouameni is one of the options to replace.

“He would be cheaper than options like Declan Rice, who has been mentioned as an option for them. I’m told Monaco value him at around €40m [£34million].”

Lukaku fires Chelsea warning

Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea and Belgium

Chelsea’s re-signing of Lukaku for £97.5million from Inter Milan is a major statement of intent.

The Belgium international never made his mark in his previous spell at Stamford Bridge, but his deadly form since and the Blues’ need for a new striker have collided to make the transfer happen.

Speaking of his own intentions, Lukaku insisted that he does not need to prove himself to anyone.

Indeed, he has scored over 100 Premier League goals in his career at United, Everton and West Brom.

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