Real Madrid will make two free agents their priorities in the summer 2022 transfer market, PSG forward Kylian Mbappe and Chelsea center back Antonio Rudiger. Beyond those two, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland is a dream target near the level of importance to Mbappe for Florentino Perez, and the club president will do whatever he can to bring both stars to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Los Blancos have been linked with other excellent young players, too. Sporting’s Pedro Porro and Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni are two such players.
However, Tchouameni seems more likely to join Chelsea, who are also keen on the midfielder. The same goes for another young French standout who has been linked to Real Madrid in the past, Jules Kounde. Rumors linking the Sevilla star to the Blues are heating up again.
Why do Chelsea have an advantage to signing both players? Let us start with the case of Kounde. Real Madrid do not seem to have much interest in the 23-year-old, even though he can be a great player in the future and is already one of LaLiga’s top center backs.
Real Madrid prefer Antonio Rudiger to Jules Kounde
The reason is simple. Real want to go for free market opportunities at center back, such as Antonio Rudiger. Last summer, Los Blancos signed David Alaba for free, and the ex-Bayern man has been perfect next to Eder Militao.
Real would thus prefer to sign someone like Rudiger for free who would be willing to play as the third center back in the pursuit of trophies in Madrid, as opposed to pay a big transfer fee to Sevilla for Kounde. And Kounde would probably want to be a full-time starter at this stage of his career.
As for Chelsea, they can offer Kounde a lot. Not just financially but in terms of responsibility. They have seemingly been uninterested in paying Rudiger his asking price, regardless of what Thomas Tuchel thinks. Unless if things change, Rudiger seems destined for Madrid (or somewhere else, such as PSG or Bayern). And if that happens, Kounde looks like the logical replacement.
Now for Tchouameni. Real Madrid already have young center midfielders. Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are two of the best young ball-recovering midfielders you could ask for, and they have attacking upside, too. Antonio Blanco is another intriguing option. Beyond this trio, which could be the future of the club, there are other transfer targets.
Tchouameni will be too expensive for Real Madrid
Tchouameni won’t be cheap. Lots of teams will be interested in the 21-year-old, including teams like Chelsea that have more financial power. Monaco are not under pressure to sell him immediately, so Real won’t get a bargain as with Camavinga in summer 2021.
Therefore, a club like Chelsea has an advantage. They have a world-class midfield in their own right, but without the young depth Los Blancos have. Because they very badly want that depth to keep competing at the highest level with Manchester City, Liverpool, and those outside of England, they will be more willing to meet Monaco’s high asking price than Real.
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So it’s not a bad thing if Kounde and Tchouameni go to Chelsea or another big European club besides Real Madrid. Los Blancos should continue to monitor both players, especially Tchouameni in lieu of a clear free agent option (Paul Pogba appears to be off the table). However, Madridistas should be prepared for these two young standouts to go elsewhere. Chelsea fans, meanwhile, should be ready to welcome at least one of them to Stamford Bridge. Either player is realistic and would be a huge help to an already strong side.