Juventus are reportedly preparing themselves for a tug of war with Chelsea over the signing of Aurelien Tchouameni.
This is according to Tuttosport, who claim the Italian side are gearing up to battle the boys in Blue for Tchouameni’s signature.
The Monaco starlet has been in Chelsea’s vision for some time.
He was placed on the list of potential future central midfield recruits over the summer, alongside Jude Bellingham.
Although some outlets have suggested the Stamford Bridge hierarchy would rather land Bellingham, it appears the young Frenchman is still in contention.
Indeed it is claimed by reports in Italy that Juventus are now anticipating a move from Chelsea, which is making them step up their own interest.
It is no great surprise Tchouameni is wanted by Europe’s powerhouses.
Tchouameni on the tip of the tongue
Despite only recently turning 21, the young Frenchman has already accumulated nearly 100 games in senior football.
37 of those were managed with FC Girondins Bordeaux before he joined Monaco for £15m (RMC) last January.
Now arguably the crown jewel in Niko Kovac’s treasure chest, Tchouameni is certainly a diamond in the rough.
“Pleasure to play next to him,” said Paul Pogba about the Ligue 1 gem after the pair featured together for France earlier this year.
“He brings a lot of energy. A lot of energy, extraordinary technical and physical quality.”
Cesc Fabregas has also heaped praise on Tchouameni, saying he has the potential to become a ‘complete midfielder.’
High compliments indeed from two of the finest to roam the middle of the park in the modern era.
Expectations that the player is currently living up to.
But where would he, if at all, fit into Chelsea’s plans?
It was clear Thomas Tuchel wanted to add another CM to his squad in the last transfer window, hence the arrival of Saul Niguez on loan from Atletico Madrid.
N’Golo Kante’s absences have made that move even more relevant now.
However, if Saul continues his poor form, it is unlikely the Blues will make his deal permanent at the end of the campaign.
They might therefore recall Billy Gilmour or Conor Gallagher from their respective loans.
Alternatively, Tuchel may decide to maintain the faith currently being thrown towards Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
A third, more expensive idea, is to recruit Tchouameni before anyone else does.
Chelsea fans have already made it clear they like the sound of the third option.