Chelsea have emerged ahead of Liverpool as the frontrunners to sign Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni in the January transfer window, according to reports. The 21-year-old is widely regarded as one of Europe’s finest young talents and is believed to have no shortage of admirers from across the continent.
Tchouameni is already a key asset for Monaco, who have endured a rocky start to their Ligue 1 campaign and currently sit in mid-table.
He has featured in all but one of their league games this season and was rewarded for his stunning rise to prominence with a debut international call-up for France earlier in the campaign.
The Rouen-born enforcer has since established himself as a regular for the defending world champions under the guidance of Didier Deschamps.
A number of Premier League sides have been credited with an interest in Tchouameni in recent months, including the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea.
However, it seems as though the Blues have nipped ahead of the competition in the race to secure his signature as the January window draws nearer.
The European champions are in pole position to land Tchouameni and have been drawing up a lucrative offer to bring him to Stamford Bridge, according to TuttoJuve.
The report claims that Chelsea have enough money in the bank to stand a realistic chance of signing the Frenchman at the turn of the year.
It is also said that Monaco would be willing to sell their man for a fee in the region of £42million.
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will be successful in tempting the Ligue 1 heavyweights when January rolls around, with Thomas Tuchel likely to be keen on further recruitment ahead of the Premier League run-in.
The Blues signed Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid on a deadline-day loan deal over the summer, but the Spaniard has failed to live up to expectations during his time in the Premier League.
A new midfielder could be the way to go in the mid-season market to put the finishing touch on a Chelsea squad that is arguably one of the best in Europe.
Tuchel recently insisted that his January transfer planning has not been affected by the injury absences of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, suggesting that Chelsea could be in for a relatively quiet winter window.
“You cannot predict that you lose your three offensive key players at the same time, this is quite unlucky,” the Blues boss told reporters last month.
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“You cannot have a squad with four, five, six, seven key [attacking] players and three of them constantly waiting for another three to get injured. This does not exist in real life.
“I’m happy with the guys who are on the pitch tomorrow [against Newcastle] and I trust the guys who are on the pitch.
“It is a bit of a stretch, the group is tested but okay, so it’s a test. We want to make it and prove that we are a strong group and can compensate for situations like this.”