Chelsea are tracking exciting Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, according to a report.
The 20-year-old only moved to the Principality a year ago for €18m from Bordeaux. However his progress under Niko Kovac has been impressive and he has caught the attention of scouts across Europe.
ESPN report that Chelsea have been monitoring the the France under-20 international.
Tchouameni has grabbed two assists in 19 Ligue 1 appearances, mainly in a defensive midfield role.
He has in the past been likened to Paul Pogba.
“It’s always a pleasure to be compared to Paul Pogba,” Tchouameni told RMC Sport in December 2019. “I think we’re in the same league.”
Chelsea are believed o be keen to strengthen their midfield in the summer and could be looking for a long-term replacement for N’Golo Kante.
Kante, 29, missed out through suspension against Fulham recently and he missed the defeat to Leicester with a hamstring injury.
“N’Golo unfortunately isn’t due to a hamstring injury,” said Lampard, who saw summer speculation surrounding the former Leicester enforcer.
Reports in Italian publication Tuttosport claimed Manchester United were ready to make an approach for Kante.
However, Lampard, speaking in September, was adamant Kante remained a vital part of his plans.
“I think pretty much every club in the world would want N’Golo Kante,” the Chelsea boss told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I have seen those reports as well. He is an incredible player and person and I certainly don’t want to lose him. He’s fundamental in terms of what I’m trying to do.
“We can obviously talk about the attacking players we have but someone like N’Golo and the work he does in midfield.
“It was a difficult year for him last year because of the injuries. He came into the season with an injury and it was a domino effect through the year. It was probably a culmination of four or five years of games, so I’m really excited to have him fit. He looks fresh, he’s a big deal to me.”
Whether or not Frank Lampard’s stance remains the same is unclear, but a big-money offer for the France international could see Kante being sold.
However, the Blues are unlikely to make a move for Tchouameni this month with Monaco set to keep him until the summer. But a transfer scramble could ensue in the summer window despite his contract running until 2024.