Chelsea 3-1 Southampton: Picture highlights
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Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante’s absence from France’s Nations League triumph may have thrown a spanner in the works of the Blues’s transfer plans. A positive Coronavirus test forced the midfield general to watch Les Bleus’ 2-1 victory over Spain in the final from home.
However, Didier Deschamps’ side managed to cope well without the 30-year-old, as youngster Aurelien Tchouameni deputised brilliantly.
The Monaco midfielder partnered Paul Pogba in France’s midfield, and together they were able to effectively protect their back three, while also feeding Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, and Karim Benzema ahead of them.
It was a classy performance from the 21-year-old midfielder, who was subject to plenty of speculation about a possible move away to one of Europe’s top clubs.
And one of those teams was Chelsea, as it has been widely reported they are interested in signing him.
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However, Tchouameni’s excellent performance in place of Kante may have damaged Thomas Tuchel’s side’s chances of signing him, as reports from Marca have claimed Real Madrid are now courting the Frenchman.
Los Blancos signed his fellow compatriot Edouardo Camavinga from Rennes on transfer deadline day for £35million.
But, it is believed Real Madrid are looking to add another defensive midfielder to their squad, as their only specialist midfield enforcer is Brazilian star Casemiro.
While Real would have surely been more than aware of the midfielder’s talents, it is believed their interest in him has sky-rocketed since his performances for France in the Nations League.
How Chelsea must have wished Kante was fit, firing, and playing for France.
It is also believed Juventus are also interested in Tchouameni’s and are keeping a close eye on on his progress and development.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are still prioritising a move for Kylian Mbappe, whose 80th minute finish under Unai Simon was the winning goal for France in the final at the San Siro.
A bid of £171.7m for Mbappe from Real was swiftly rejected by Paris Saint Germain who were adamant the mercurial forward was not for sale.
However, it is looking more likely Mbappe will swap the Parc des Princes for the Bernabeu next summer when his contract expires.
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And that is when the 13-time European champions will likely strike, as he would be available to join the club for nothing, due to his contract coming to an end at Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Mbappe also clarified his position and desires in a surprise interview with French radio station RMC.
“I asked to leave, because from the moment where I did not want to extend, I wanted for the club to receive a transfer fee so that they could bring in a quality replacement,” said the 22-year-old.
“This club has given me a lot, I have always been happy [during] the four years I have had here, and I still am.
“I said it early enough so that the club could react. I wanted everyone to come out of this stronger, that we leave hand in hand, to make a good deal and I respected that.”
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