United prepared to rival Liverpool for Tchouameni

Manchester United are prepared to battle Liverpool to sign French international midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, according to the Athletic.

They report that Tchouameni is among the midfielders being watched by both clubs, although Liverpool are unlikely to bring anyone in during the current transfer window.

Theoretically, United could steal a march and make a bid now, but Monaco would likely be very reluctant to let such a talented player go mid-season.

That said, United got a winter deal over the line for Bruno Fernandes in January 2020, and it transformed the complexion of the campaign.

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Chelsea interest

Last month, it was reported by Eurosport that Chelsea are also interested in striking a deal for Tchouameni, even if it meant he remained at Moncao for the season and did not join until the summer.

That is something United could consider, although it would be good if any signings made this month were actually able to make an impact on the season, which is veering off course as it stands.

The prospect of playing alongside French international teammate N’Golo Kante at Stamford Bridge may appeal to Tchouameni.

Of course, his fellow countryman Paul Pogba is at Old Trafford – but for how long? Pogba is clearly a fan of Tchouameni, however, calling him ‘extraordinary‘ in September.

The competition for Tchouameni’s signature is set to be intense, as would be expected for a 21-year-old who has established himself as a French international already.

That said, he could be a cheaper holding midfield alternative to Declan Rice, who seems to want to become more of a box-to-box player anyway, and sort the issue for the next decade if he keeps progressing as he has been.

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Kessie another potential target

The same report also says that AC Milan midfielder Frank Kessie is attracting interest from across Europe because his contract is expiring in the summer.

That means he can now sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club and the report suggests United are keeping tabs as a potential option to bolster their engine room next season.

United saw Kessie up close in the Europa League last season and impressed some fans with his performances despite being on the losing side.

Kessie is an international teammate of Amad and Eric Bailly, and the former appears to be trying to learn from the 25-year-old, and would likely welcome his arrival at Old Trafford.

Both Kessie and Tchouameni would add something new to a United midfield which is currently toiling and looks set to lose Paul Pogba on a free transfer in the summer, unless something changes drastically between now and then.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.