Chelsea identify Aurelien Tchouameni alternative as Thomas Tuchel draws up January plan

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is weighing up a January move for RB Leipzig midfielder Christopher Nkunku, according to reports. The Blues have recently been linked with a number of potential targets in the middle of the park, with Aurelien Tchouameni of Monaco also said to be on their radar.

The latter has established himself as one of Europe’s finest young prospects in recent years and is a regular in Monaco’s engine room.

His strong form at club level was rewarded with a debut senior call-up for France back in August, with the 21-year-old impressing for Les Blues in his first three international outings.

Chelsea are believed to be keen admirers of Tchouameni but will likely be forced to part ways with a significant fee in order to seal his signature.

Reports have claimed that Monaco could demand in excess of £30million to let go of the midfielder, who remains under contract until the summer of 2024.

However, it seems as though Chelsea have identified Nkunku as a viable alternative to Tchouameni if they are unable to sign him ahead of next season.

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The European champions are among a number of clubs keeping tabs on the Leipzig man, according to Foot Mercato.

The report claims that Tuchel has directed Chelsea to look into a move for Nkunku, who played under the German boss at PSG.

Although the Blues are keen to secure his services, they are set to face stiff competition from both Real Madrid and Manchester City.

The Spanish giants enjoy a good relationship with Nkunku’s agent, Pini Zahavi, and are said to have added the player to their list of targets.

Zahavi has already spoken to Real Madrid about the possibility of taking his client, suggesting that a move to the Bernabeu could be his preferred outcome.

Meanwhile, City have also been credited with an interest in Nkunku as Pep Guardiola seeks midfield reinforcements ahead of the business end of the season.

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will be able to nip ahead of the Premier League champions and Real Madrid to bring Nkunku to Stamford Bridge at the turn of the year.

The midfielder has already scored four Bundesliga goals since the beginning of the campaign and looks set to play a big role in Leipzig’s hunt for Champions League qualification over the coming months.

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Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch recently waxed lyrical over Nkunku, insisting that he is a dream to work with at the training ground on a daily basis.

“We have spoken to Christopher a lot about playing on the counter and also what he needs to do to play as a striker, a No 10 and on both wings,” Marsch told reporters.

“Christopher has no weaknesses. He’s young and still want a lot more. It’s always a good thing when a young player listens to the things we say and also wants to implement them.

“Working with him is a lot of fun as he’s really intelligent and has a lot of potential.”

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