Transfer deadline day: Premier League round-up
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Chelsea chiefs have decided that a move for Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni would be a good investment next summer, with the 21-year-old still in need of additional development, according to reports. The playmaker was heavily linked with the Stamford Bridge club before Tuesday’s transfer deadline but remained at Monaco, with the Blues landing Saul Niguez instead.
Saul will spend the rest of the season on loan at Chelsea from Atletico Madrid after joining the club in a last-gasp switch.
The Spaniard will be expected to provide cover for the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic this season as the Blues look to mount a renewed Premier League title challenge.
However, Saul was not Chelsea’s only option in the market, with a number of other targets being considered prior to his temporary switch.
Tchouameni was said to be one of the names on Thomas Tuchel’s shortlist, but the European champions ultimately decided against launching a move for his services.
It seems as though Chelsea could look to bring him to west London next summer, though.
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Club chiefs are keen admirers of Tchouameni but are convinced that he will emerge as twice the player after spending another season at Monaco, according to The Athletic.
The 21-year-old has only racked up 91 professional appearances during his career, with Chelsea harbouring slight concerns over his inexperience during the summer window.
They are hoping that another 12 months in Ligue 1 will do wonders for his development, suggesting that a move could be revisited at the end of the current season.
Tchouameni has emerged as one of the division’s finest young midfielders since joining Monaco from Bordeaux in January of last year.
He was rewarded for his efforts with a debut France call-up last month before making his international debut against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday.
Manchester United have also been credited with a desire to land Tchouameni, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly keen on adding to his midfield ranks in the near future.
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will be able to secure his signature ahead of the Red Devils next summer if both clubs decide to act on their interest.
Meanwhile, Tuchel declared at the end of last month that he was satisfied with the club’s recent transfer business in spite of their decision to avoid a move for Tchouameni.
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“I am absolutely happy with our squad and the alternatives we have,” the 48-year-old told reporters.
“That means we maybe don’t have the biggest squad but that we have a very competitive squad in all positions.
“This, on one hand, is necessary because we play a lot of competitions and we play the World Club Cup in December. We also played very long last season and there was the Euros and Copa America.
“So if we want to compete we need this level. But at the same time, it’s also important we’re a strong group, this was maybe the key for the last half a year.
“We played with a strong bond and a great team spirit. This is a challenge for the team and for me to create this atmosphere again, and that everybody is ready to take hard decisions and keep pushing the team.
“If we do this, we can achieve more than we have.”
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