Chelsea Identify Declan Rice Replacement in Monaco Star

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By Martin Graham | 19th Feb 2022

Chelsea are reported to be ‘extensively watching’ AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, with some outlets even claiming that The Blues may prefer him to long-term target, West Ham United’s Declan Rice.

The Evening Standard reports that Chelsea have sent scouts to Monaco to watch Aurelien Tchouameni and the scouts have reported to the club that the Frenchman may be a better option than Rice.

Rice is one of the most sought-after midfielders in England currently and his past ties to Chelsea indicates that his future destination may be the Stamford Bridge.

However, West Ham have slapped a starting price tag of £100 million on the midfielder. With the number of clubs interested in doing business for rice Chelsea have decided to look elsewhere in order to sign a midfielder in the summer.

The Evening Standard writes: “Chelsea have long-standing interest in Rice, who will be one of the most sought-after players in the Premier League at the end of the season.

“Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni has also been extensively watched by Chelsea scouts this season and could yet be the preferred option to Rice – particularly if West Ham price their player out of a move.”

Chelsea decision on loan player may also affect Rice pursuit

Chelsea is also reportedly preparing to integrate Conor Gallagher into the squad starting in the 2022/23 season.

Gallagher was promoted to the Chelsea senior squad in the 2019/20 season but failed to make an appearance for the side since his promotion. A loan at Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace this season has seen his stock rise with even Paris Saint-Germain reported to have been interested in acquiring his services in the just-concluded January transfer window.

However the Blues chase of West Ham’s Rice may take a hit as a result of this decision, with reports claiming that the decision to integrate Gallagher into the squad next season was made by manager Thomas Tuchel.

This news will come as a huge boost to other clubs interested in acquiring Rice’s services from West Ham next season, most especially Manchester United who have failed in the midfield department.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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