Liverpool have been told that they may sign Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, but so has Real Madrid.
The 22-year-old is a target for both Champions League finalists ahead of the summer transfer season, with his present club pinning a £60million price tag on his head amid reports of a move to both Anfield and the Santiago Bernabeu.
Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell has now revealed that the club is eager to sell Tchouameni, who has also been linked with Manchester United, PSG, and Chelsea, but they are open to all possibilities.
Asked by RMC Sport whether he would prefer to sell the France international to Liverpool – who have reportedly agreed terms – or Real Madrid, ex- Tottenham Hotspur and RB Leipzig chief Mitchell replied: “I don’t have a preference to be honest! As always when you sell a player, there needs to be fair compensation. The market is different every year.
“Everyone was able to see what a top player Aurelien is, but everyone also knows that we are an ambitious club with an ambitious shareholder.
“So no, I have no preference when it comes to selling him. We will have to be very aggressive in terms of the fee we demand to lose such an incredibly gifted player.”
Quizzed on how difficult Monaco’s task will be to replace Tchouameni, Mitchell affirmed:
“That’s why he’s so sought after! The market is usually pretty smart especially in the clubs you mentioned. That’s why replacing him will be incredibly difficult but we will try to increase the full capacity of the team. I think it’s important to keep building the team and not just focus on the individuals that make it up.
“We have a very competitive style of play and for us it would be a mark of success to build the depth of the team and the quality of the whole group because we are also going to come out of the pre-season with matches that will continue until mid-September. That’s why I think replacing Aurelien Tchouameni at that time would be a difficult task, but it would be for anyone.”
Tchouameni has established his pedigree during a stellar season in France’s top division. While his three goals and two assists in 35 games are scarcely impressive, Liverpool and Real Madrid are interested in him because of his defensive abilities.
Last season, Monaco’s No.8 combined 2.2 tackles and 2.7 interceptions per game for club and country, frequently partnering Manchester United’s Paul Pogba for France.
Tchouameni, who is also capable of neat dribbling and splitting the lines with accurate passes, is now a regular for Didier Deschamps’ side, having helped Les Blues win the UEFA Nations League last autumn with a starting spot in the final.