Liverpool have been linked with a move for Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, with one journalist on Merseyside fuelling speculation.
The Reds were first credited with an interest in Tchouameni back in January, with The Athletic’s David Ornstein naming the 22-year-old as a possible addition.
This comes ahead of a summer that should see James Milner depart the club after seven years, with the veteran’s contract due to expire, while decisions will be made over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita.
In all likelihood, Liverpool will be required to sign at least one midfielder in the next transfer window, though Fabio Carvalho is already set to arrive from Fulham.
Tchouameni was again touted with a switch to Merseyside on Tuesday, with French outlet Foot Mercato claiming that contact had been made with the player’s representatives.
It is even suggested that, though Real Madrid believe themselves to be front-runners, Liverpool and PSG hold an advantage over the Spanish side.
Lots of stuff around about Liverpool and Aurelien Tchouameni. No question he is a player they are looking at but other clubs in frame, too, most notably Real Madrid, who are favourites. Liverpool, however, most definitely looking for a midfielder with his qualities.
— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) April 26, 2022
The source is certainly dubious, but the Mail‘s Dominic King later responded with the news that there is “no question he is a player [Liverpool] are looking at.”
King explains that there are “other clubs in [the] frame” and describes Real as “favourites,” but insists Liverpool are “most definitely looking for a midfielder with his qualities.”
This should certainly be taken with a pinch of salt, as the club would undoubtedly be tracking a player of Tchouameni’s potential regardless.
But that King avoided denying specific interest in the France international could be significant.
As mentioned, the expected departure of Milner, along with the prospect of losing at least one of Oxlade-Chamberlain or Keita – who are into the final year of their contracts in July – opens up the possibility of another new signing.
But it remains to be seen whether the 19-year-old will even be used in midfield, with his qualities perhaps better utilised in the forward line.
Liverpool have high hopes for Tyler Morton, while Stefan Bajcetic, James Balagizi, Melkamu Frauendorf and Isaac Mabaya could stake a claim in the future, but Tchouameni is an already-established top-flight midfielder.
An all-rounder, adept in physical battles and breaking the lines, Tchouameni is widely regarded as one of the best young midfielders in Europe.
His asking price has been touted as anywhere between £42 million and £83 million, with his current contract running to 2024.