Why Chelsea missed out on Aurelien Tchouameni transfer as Ibrahim Sangare question emerges

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At one point, Chelsea had the edge in the pursuit of Aurelien Tchouameni. The Blues have had an interest in Tchouameni ever since he started his career at Bordeaux, football.london understands, but they were unable to get a deal over the line for the France international.

Chelsea were well aware of the Frenchman’s talents ever since he was playing in the academy at Bordeaux. The now-22-year-old became a regular in the first team at the French club in 2018 before moving to Ligue 1 rivals AS Monaco in January 2020 following his impressive breakthrough.

The west London club still had a keen eye on Tchouameni, but they were not alone either. As the midfielder continued his swift progression in Monaco, the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid were also beginning to pay attention.

READ MORE: Thomas Tuchel already has Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku replacement but faces huge transfer decision

There was always a feeling coming into this summer that Tchouameni would seek a move away from Monaco. That is the case – but unfortunately for Chelsea, he’s Real Madrid-bound.

Reports on Tuesday claimed that Tchouameni had reached a ‘verbal agreement’ with Los Blancos in a total package valued at over € 100million. Monaco and Madrid are now in the process of finalizing the deal before it is officially announced in the Spanish capital.

For Chelsea, in this situation, they have been essentially powerless. The Blues’ sanctions were only lifted at the end of last month when Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital’s consortium completed its long-awaited takeover of the club.

Before that, Chelsea could not conduct any transfer-related business because former owner Roman Abramovich had his assets frozen by the UK Government. The club were not even allowed to negotiate new contracts for their players.

While Chelsea were stuck in that regard, Real Madrid capitalized and ultimately lured Tchouameni to the Santiago Bernabeu. There’s no indication, of course, that if Chelsea were able to act on the transfer front that Tchouameni would have picked them over the Spanish champions, but it certainly did not help their long-term pursuit of the France international.

So, what next for Chelsea? That’s the big question. However, it has gone eerily quiet on the midfielder front as we approach the summer transfer window.

Declan Rice is a target for the Blues – and he has been for some time. Rice, though, has a £ 150m price tag placed on his head by West Ham United. If they stick to that demand, the England midfielder will not join Chelsea this summer.

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Kalvin Phillips has been linked in recent days, but there is nothing advanced in that regard. Ibrahim Sangare is another name that refuses to go away, with the PSV Eindhoven midfielder attracting interest from around Europe.

Sangare is reportedly available for £ 29.9m, which is a modest transfer fee in today’s market. The 24-year-old midfielder still has three years remaining on his contract with PSV, but the Dutch club are reportedly open to selling the Ivorian should the right offer (see above) come in for him.

The PSV midfielder is solid defensively and offers a protective shield to the back-three – something plenty of Chelsea supporters have been crying out for, for years now. Sangare is also a powerful runner and can often be seen carrying the ball through midfield, offering PSV a consistent outlet in transition.

Standing at 6’3in tall, Sangare is a powerful and imposing figure in the center of midfield, but his abilities and specialties do not stop there. His ability while in possession is also impressive, and he is incredibly tough to dispossess. Playing him alongside Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, or even Conor Gallagher next season looks like a really promising proposition.

Sangare ranked second in ‘total tackles’ and ‘possessions won in the attacking third’ in the Eredivisie last season with 95 and 30 to his name, respectively. The defensive midfielder also intercepted the ball 74 times – more than any other player in the Dutch top-flight. His stats are very impressive, but that comes with inevitable competition from elsewhere.



Ibrahim Sangare's impressive Eredivisie season in numbers
Ibrahim Sangare’s impressive Eredivisie season in numbers

According to Sky Sports, Chelsea and Manchester United are interested in signing Sangare this summer, while Liverpool and Newcastle United have also been linked. The Ivorian midfielder is said to have a £ 29.9m release clause in his contract. The report claims the player ‘has his heart set on moving to England’.

Outgoings in midfield

There could be a few departures from Chelsea this summer as well. The likes of Jorginho, Kante and Ross Barkley have all been linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge over the coming months, with all three midfielders having just over 12 months remaining on their contracts.

It appears the Blues are keen to keep Kante around for another season at least, but the futures of Jorginho and Barkley are less certain. If Chelsea do indeed let one – or more – of these three midfielders leave the club, then replacements may need looking at.

Gallagher, though, is returning to Chelsea next season and football.london understands that the England international has been told to fight for his place in the first team. Billy Gilmour, meanwhile, may also return to the west London club after an unsuccessful loan spell at Norwich City.

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