Exclusive: Neil Jones shares Tchouameni transfer truth amid Real Madrid exit speculation

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Liverpool’s interest in Aurelien Tchouameni ‘is permanent’, though it remains highly unlikely that the Merseysiders will pull off an ambitious swoop for the former Monaco ace this summer.

Real Madrid, despite reports to the contrary (Fichajes via FourFourTwo & Sport via Sport Witness), believe the Frenchman has a long-term future at the club as part of an exciting cohort of young midfielders.

“I think Liverpool would surely be keen to capitalise if Real Madrid were prepared to sell Aurelien Tchouameni. I can’t see why Liverpool would say ‘oh, no not now’, unless an asking price was set at £100-plus,” Neil Jones exclusively informed Empire of the Kop in his latest column with EOTK Insider.

“I just don’t personally see a world where Real Madrid… they went to great lengths to get him, they paid a lot of money for him. If you think you’re buying a player from Monaco, albeit a very gifted player, they still spent a lot of money to buy a player from Ligue 1 and not a forward. To sell after one year where he had a decent start to the season but perhaps tailed off in the second.

“I think they’ve committed to him. They’re undergoing a big change with their midfield. There’s a possibility of Luka Modric going over to Saudi Arabia, Toni Kroos has signed a new contract but Casemiro left, so they envisioned Tchouameni stepping into that deeper-lying midfield role.

“I still think that would be the case and there will be a lot of opportunities for him next season. They’ve got a real stable of young midfield players that they’ll develop with Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde, Tchouameni, and I don’t see why Real Madrid, after all that work, would suddenly disrupt that.

“I think Liverpool’s interest in Tchouameni is permanent but I don’t see a situation where Real Madrid look to sell him this summer. It would be a huge surprise if they were to do it and the other thing is that I don’t think Liverpool would be the only ones put on red alert if they put him up for sale.”

There’s no telling either whether Jurgen Klopp’s men would be able to afford the player, who signed for £85.3m only a year ago, in light of a long-term contract (expiring in 2028), which would surely prove prohibitive when it came to the asking price.

READ MORE: Exclusive: Neil Jones points to main complication in Liverpool’s Khephren Thuram pursuit

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As depressing a thought as it might seem for some Liverpool fans, the reality remains that Jorg Schmadtke and Co. is somewhat spoilt for choice even when it comes to the specific profile of midfielder we’re thought to be looking for.

That said, as far as the holding midfield role is concerned, we’d remiss to ignore the ongoing question marks around Fabinho, even despite a late return to form last term.

The Brazilian will have to get off the mark quickly in 2023/24 to silence the doubters, though we can ill afford to be totally reliant on Stefan Bajcetic either after the pressure of back-to-back games forced a season-ending injury.

Having options available, then, capable of filling in to alleviate the pressure on our younger talents will be key, which is exactly where signings like Khephren Thuram will come in handy.

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