Man Utd can repeat Romelu Lukaku trick in order to sabotage Chelsea’s Tchouameni transfer plans
Manchester United could repeat their Romelu Lukaku transfer trick in order to derail Chelsea’s Aurelien Tchouameni plan as the Blues are still in the hunt to sign a new central midfielder ahead of the August 31 deadline.
Tchouameni, 21, has always been an option for the Blues hierarchy to pursue during this transfer window and the need for him has been highlighted after Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic were the only available midfield options in the Chelsea squad for their 3-0 opening day win over Crystal Palace.
Ngolo Kante’s unfortunate injury record has prompted Marina Granovskaia and co. to reconsider their transfer plans as the deadline approaches.
Primary target Declan Rice is highly unlikely to leave before the window closes, with West Ham United demanding a reported £100million to release one of their most prized assets to their London rivals.
As a result, Chelsea’s best hope of securing a new midfielder lies with the young Monaco ace but recent developments indicate that it won’t be straightforward for the Blues to sign him this summer.
This is because Manchester United, a club that are well known for recently sharing the same transfer targets as the west London side, have now entered the fray for Ligue 1 young player of the season for the 2020/21 campaign.
Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri has told a United fan Twitter account: ‘mufc are interested in signing Aurélien Tchouaméni and are in talks with his agency. It’s possible that United will make an opening bid to AS Monaco for Tchouaméni before the transfer window closes.”
That will come as a blow to the Blues, who are concentrating solely at this current moment on acquiring the services of Sevilla centre-half Jules Kounde, coupled with shifting some of the so-called ‘deadwood’ from the club.
Transfer races between the two Premier League giants have been pretty regular over the years, with both having success against each other in the transfer market in the past.
Whether that’s Manchester United’s power to outbid and gazump Roman Abramovich’s club for someone like Romelu Lukaku the first time around, to Chelsea’s ability to react quickly to snap up targets like Pedro Rodriguez and Cesc Fabregas, both have demonstrated how they are able to get one up on the other.
Looking at the worst-case scenario for Thomas Tuchel’s side as shown by the Lukaku example, the Glazers undoubtedly have the firepower to outbid and pay better wages to players as shown by previous examples.
That was the main reason why the Belgian moved to Old Trafford from Everton in 2017 the first time around, leaving Chelsea with eventual flop Alvaro Morata.
And what’s to say that the same can’t happen again if both actively pursue the Monaco midfielder.
However, if Cesc Fabregas’ opinion is anything to go by then Granvoskaia should be all over this potential coup for Tchouameni.
“He can play anywhere in midfield and he will not have a problem,” the 34-year-old told BT Sport back in May.
“He can play as a No.6 alone, as a defensive midfielder, as a No.8, in a double 6. What he’s doing now, even in a year’s time, he could become a good No.10 if he wanted.
“He’s got the power to get into the box. He needs to improve his final pass a little bit, but he’s so young, and he’s determined to learn.
“From what I can see, and the will that he has, he has a bright future ahead of him.”
The Frenchman has a current market value of £27m according to Transfermarkt, and coupled with Simon Johnson’s opinion in The Athletic that no ‘late bids’ can be ruled out, this could be enough for the Chelsea board to learn from their previous mistakes of losing out to Manchester United on several key targets.