Chelsea targets Aurélien Tchouaméni and Jules Kounde impressed for France as Didier Deschamps solved Thomas Tuchel’s next transfer headache with a 2-1 win over Spain in the UEFA Nations League final.
Blues duo Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta walked away empty-handed as the world champions orchestrated an incredible comeback to mark what was a useful night for the Chelsea boss to assess his targets’ credentials ahead of the January transfer window.
Les Bleus duo, who were both strongly linked to a move to Stamford Bridge over the summer, operated in Deschamps’ newly implemented back-five formation which holds strong similarities to Tuchel’s in west London.
France operated a similar shape to which Chelsea used in the twilight stages of the clash against Southampton prior to the international break with a double pivot, number ten and two forwards.
Tchouaméni operated in the double pivot role alongside Paul Pogba, meanwhile, Kounde featured at right centre-back as the pair demonstrated their proficiency under a similar tactical setup to Tuchel’s, warranting a potential move in January.
The 21-year-old midfielder won four aerial duels, two tackles, four interceptions and also recorded a key pass, showing a combination of the technical and physical excellence Chelsea thought was signed when Saul Niguez arrived on loan from Atletico Madrid on deadline day.
Tchouaméni highlighted his tactical awareness too, complimenting Pogba’s attacking minded forward runs into the final third with defensive cover while also taking on board and reacting to instructions from Deschamps when asked to alter his position during the game.
The Athletic reported in the summer that Tchouaméni, who is valued at £34 million by Monaco according to Calciomercato, is highly rated by Chelsea but the Blues believed that he could do with another 12 months at the French outfit.
Italian outlet TuttoSport have reported that the west Londoners are leading the race to sign the Frenchman but face stern competition from Juventus for his signature.
Therefore, with the pressure of missing out on Tchouaméni to the Old Lady, Chelsea could look to wrap up negotiations sooner rather than later.
Kounde, who was seemingly just moments away from signing for Chelsea in the summer, impressed too, vindicating his attraction that reportedly has the Blues head over heels.
The 22-year-old has a handful of striking similarities to Antonio Rudiger with the most important being his ability to carry the ball forward out of defence with such ease – in what has now become called the ‘Rudiger run’.
Sevilla’s prised asset was close to arriving at Stamford Bridge before the Spanish side broke a verbal agreement with Chelsea following Kurt Zouma’s £29.8 million sale to West Ham, according to The Athletic.
The report claimed Sevilla suddenly asked for €15 million (around £12.8m) more than was originally discussed to which the Blues halted their pursuit.
As per ESPN, Tuchel’s side would be willing to re-enter the race to secure the young centre-back’s services if the Spaniards lower their asking price back to €50 million (£42.4m).
The Evening Standard has added by reporting that Kounde remains a top target of Chelsea’s and will be tracked over the coming months, potentially leaving the door open to a January venture.
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Source by Football London