'Leading the race': Romano claims Chelsea are in the best position to sign £40m rated international

Fabrizio Romano suggested that Chelsea are ahead of their rivals in the pursuit of Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni.

Speaking on his own podcast, Romano claimed the Blues had a significant upper hand in the bout for the 21-year-old’s signature.

It is no secret the Stamford Bridge hierarchy want to make the midfielder their own.

Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

According to TEAMtalk, the feeling is very much reciprocated.

So, why don’t they just shake hands and finalise the deal?

Of course, it is never quite so simple.

Trials of Tchouameni

Chelsea are not alone in their pursuit of Tchouameni.

Manchester United are said to be the Blues’ biggest contenders in terms of luring the France international to the Premier League.

Yet, Romano handed the early advantage over to Thomas Tuchel’s employers.   

“Manchester United with (Ole Gunnar) Solskjaer were already planning to sign a new central midfielder, defensive midfielder for next summer,” said the transfer guru.  

“They had Tchouameni on their list, but this is complicated because Chelsea are leading the race for Tchouameni for a long time.”

Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Fending off United? Tick.

Sorting out a price is next on the agenda.

What else needs to happen?

TEAMtalk suggest that upwards of £40m will be what it takes to prize the young gem from his French kingdom.

This fee could significantly rise the longer Chelsea hold off on Tchouameni, whilst other bids are thrown in Monaco’s direction.

Then there’s the small factor of sorting out the current batch of Blue midfielders.

Aside from the permanent fixtures within Tuchel’s squad, several outliers still need sieving through the net.

Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher will be aiming to return to Cobham once their respective loan spells have concluded.

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Saul Niguez is also awaiting a decision on his future, following the largely underwhelming deadline day move to Chelsea from Atletico Madrid.

It could be that all three can kiss goodbye to their blue jersey if Tchouameni lands in South West London.  

But if Gallagher continues his fine form with Palace, it will certainly present Tuchel with an interesting dilemma.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.