N’Golo Kante left Chelsea’s game against Juventus early on Tuesday night, limping off with what looked like another hamstring issue.
It was another reminder of how vulnerable he is, and how often he breaks down. Ruben Loftus-Cheek came on and did well as a replacement, but stylistically he doesn’t have the same profile as Kante, and Chelsea are going to need someone to do a lot of running for them in the future.
One player they have identified in that role is Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni. Fabrizio Romano had an exclusive interview with the TalkChelsea this week where he explained just how much the Blues like the midfielder:
“I’m sure that next summer Chelsea are looking for a defensive midfielder. Tchouameni is a player they really appreciate, they’ve always been in touch with his agent – who is the same as Jules Kounde’s. That’s how the contact started. The player would love to go to the Premier League one day. There are a lot of players in this race – Juventus are interested if the deal is next summer not January. Real Madrid are keeping tabs on midfielders including Tchouameni. It’s a long race, but Chelsea are there…
His price last summer was around €38, €40m, now you’re not signing this player for that. You’re spending €60-65m. As you mention he’s playing in the national team, he’s playing great with Monaco. At the end of the season could be around €65m and it’s not going to be easy. But Chelsea are linked, and it’s a player they love, and it’s a player they could use in the future. When you think a player is worth this money, it could be the right opportunity. But it’s still not at the negotiation stage.”
The interest from other teams makes it all seem like a difficult deal to pull off, and Chelsea may end up kicking themselves that they didn’t make a more decisive move last summer.
Romano is quick to point out there are no negotiations yet though. For now, the fact that the scouts are clearly are huge fans of the former Bordeaux player will have to keep Chelsea fans satisfied they’re making moves behind the scenes.