Manchester United have now learned the price of Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, with the January transfer window fast approaching.
According to Italian outlet Tuttosport (as relayed by the Daily Mirror), United will need to splash out between €45m and €50m (£38.5m and £42.5m) if they are to land highly-rated 21-year-old.
However, the Red Devils are set to face a battle to secure Tchouameni’s services over the coming months, with Serie A giants Juventus and European champions Chelsea also credited with an interest in his services.
By sanctioning a move for Tchouameni over the coming months, football director John Murtough could solve United’s defensive midfield woes that have plagued the club over the last few years.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has often opted for a double pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay throughout his two-and-a-half-year reign, but the duo both prefer more advanced roles have been exposed in their makeshift positions on numerous occasions.
As a result, several potential targets have been linked with a move to Old Trafford, but with the likes of Declan Rice and Wilfried Ndidi set to command astronomical fees, Tchouameni has emerged as a viable alternative.
His domineering displays in the centre of the pitch have caught the eye of several impressed onlookers over the last 18 months, with current Monaco teammate Cesc Fabregas amongst his admirers.
“He has the potential to be a complete midfield player,” the former Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea maestro wrote on Twitter. And now his compatriot and United star Paul Pogba has also lauded his talents.
“He’s not a boy; he’s a man. It’s a pleasure to play next to him; he provides a lot, plenty of energy, technical quality and extraordinary physicality. I hope to play plenty of games together and always be on his side,” the World Cup winner said.
Tchouameni got the ideal opportunity to show just how effective his partnership with Pogba could be in Manchester after lining up alongside him during France’s National League final victory over Spain back in October.
The duo worked perfectly in tandem with one another throughout the 90 minutes, with the United star enjoying the attacking freedom that his more disciplined and defensive-minded colleague allowed him.
Whether Pogba will be at United next season remains to be seen, but Tchouameni’s mature display was evidence that he has the potential to become the holding midfielder that Solskjaer so desperately craves.