Manchester City are under threat this season as Jürgen Klopp's vaunted Liverpool are breathing down their neck in the race to the Premier League trophy in 2021-22, but the Etihad outfit is said to have already lost one race this season after the latest reports suggest that midfield target Aurélien Tchouameni could be off to Real Madrid.
That comes via the Telegraph's Mike McGrath after the latest in the building transfer saga points to the Spanish giants leading the way to secure his signature this summer, when he would have just two years left on his current deal.
Currently valued at €40million (via Transfermarkt), Tchouameni could cost close to €70million but the potential fee involved would not deter the Citizens in any measure under normal circumstances. However, their continued pursuit of Borussia Dortmund starlet Erling Haaland will undoubtedly tap into the bulk of the club's finances as they look for the next top striker to lead the line under Pep Guardiola, and that potential investment will allow Madrid to swoop in for the French international.
City certainly does need a long-term appointment in the center of the park given the fact that long-time key holding midfielder Fernandinho is now 36-years-old and out of contract at the end of the season, but given the combined fee it would cost to bring both Haaland and Tchouameni to the Etihad, it is likely that the club will have to look elsewhere.
Tchouameni to form a partnership with fellow French starlet?
Should Real Madrid secure the signing of Aurélien Tchouameni, it would signal the next long-term midfield tandem at the Santiago Bernabeu when he would partner alongside fellow French starlet Eduardo Camavinga.
Though the agent of Tchouameni has stated that no agreement has been reached with Madrid for his client's services, the tantalizing prospect of the Spanish giants forming a midfield duopoly that could potentially last the better part of a decade, if not longer, would signal brilliant business by the La Liga leaders.
At current, Madrid's key central figures come in the form of veteran trio Luka Modrić, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro, all of whom are 30-years-old and up with Modrić now thirty-six in his own right.
Tchouameni, who bagged his first goal for France in their recent friendly win over Ivory Coast during the international break, could certainly slot in at Madrid given the other options behind the recognized trio coming in the vein of Dani Ceballos, and Federico Valverde, with Ceballos all but certain to not have a long-term future at the club overall.
With the prospect of forming a credible partnership with a fellow French international while plying his trade for one of the biggest clubs on the planet, the temptation should prove all but too much to pass up for the Rouen-native.