Liverpool are reportedly at the head of the queue for Monaco midfield starlet Aurelien Tchouameni.
The France international has established a reputation as one of Les Monegasques’ most influential players at the tender age of 22 and has made 48 appearances for the Principality side in all tournaments this term.
Tchouameni has registered five goals and two assists in that time, including a game-winning brace in Friday’s 2-1 victory over last season’s champions Lille.
Competition for the Frenchman’s signature is expected to be rife this summer, with Liverpool thought to be one of the many sides interested in securing his signature for the 2022-23 season.
Manchester United have also been linked as they prepare to wave goodbye to Paul Pogba, but their failure to qualify for the Champions League could scupper a move.
Arsenal have recently been tipped to join the race for the former Bordeaux man, but the Gunners may struggle with several of Europe’s most powerful clubs, namely Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
Los Blancos are currently prioritising a move for Kylian Mbappe, though, while they are not thought to have given up hope of landing Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland either.
Meanwhile, PSG will likely be in the market for midfield reinforcements in the summer and have supposedly drawn up a five-man shortlist, although Tchouameni will not arrive on the cheap.
Nevertheless, Telefoot journalist Julien Maynard claims that Liverpool currently have the upper hand in the race for Tchouameni, while Real Madrid are ahead of PSG in their pursuit.
Maynard adds that Tchouameni is yet to come to a decision over his future, but Monaco are expected to demand a fee of at least £59m to part ways with the lynchpin this summer.
Tchouameni was recently questioned about his next career move, and the midfielder offered hope of a stay by claiming that he was keen to play in the Champions League with Monaco.
“I have a contract until 2024, with an option until 2025. We will see what the future holds for me,” Tchouamani told reporters. “A lot of things can happen in the transfer window. There is my case and that of the other players, some of whom are at the end of their contracts and have other desires elsewhere.
“Why not stay in the Champions League? Being eliminated by Shakhtar Donetsk in the preliminary round this season stuck in my throat. Playing in the Champions League with Monaco is not something that would displease me.”
Tchouameni’s double against Lille has helped Monaco rise into the top three of the Ligue 1 table – three points clear of fourth-placed Rennes, who will play their game in hand against Nantes on Wednesday.
The Nations League winner has now recorded eight goals and six assists in 93 appearances for Monaco since joining from Bordeaux in 2020, and Les Monegasques will round off their season against Brest and Lens as they seek a return to the Champions League.