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Real Madrid legend reveals Florentino Perez consulted him before signing €100m midfielder

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking in an exclusive interview with AS, former Real Madrid midfielder and club legend Claude Makelele has confirmed that president Florentino Perez consulted him before signing Aurelien Tchouameni in the summer transfer window.

Tchouameni joined Real Madrid this past summer, arriving in a deal that could reach €100 million including bonuses. The 22-year-old has settled in very well at the Santiago Bernabeu, especially considering that he was thrown into the deep end soon after his arrival as Casemiro left the club.

Tchouameni has grown into an important player for Carlo Ancelotti and is now all set to play a key role in France’s World Cup campaign in the absence of seasoned campaigners like N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba.

Makelele, an icon for Real Madrid and France, has now revealed that he spoke to the club president about Tchouameni before his move to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer window. He also confirmed that Chelsea were also interested in the French ace.

“When he was about to sign, I spoke with Florentino, he wanted to know about the player. Chelsea were also interested. But if Madrid loves you, you have to go, because it’s the best way to be great,” Makelele said.

“Anyone would have told the kid: “If they love you, go, because you can be great there.”

Talking about the qualities of Tchouameni that make him stand out, Makelele said: “He is a very good player. He has that double quality, being good in the midfield and knowing how to attack. He is complete.

“Now, to be at the level of Madrid you have to have personality in the way that Modric does. He has time, and he must learn from those close to him.”

Makelele, however, stressed the importance of keeping learning for the young midfielder, stating: “He is adapting, not only to Madrid’s game but also to what the club means and all the history behind it. That takes a lot. I think that Ancelotti and his teammates are also helping him a lot. The important thing is that he listens and learns.”

On the areas that Tchouameni needs to improve, Makelele added that he needs to grow into a leadership role at the club.

“You have to have leadership, decide if you want to be selfish or be for your peers. If those in front, who are very good, win, you win too. He must be like Hierro, be a leader, like Raúl… When that happens, he will put his name in the sky of Real Madrid,” the former midfielder said.

Makelele also added that Tchouameni would have learnt faster if Casemiro was still at the club, as he could have learnt from the Brazilian, while also insisting that he and fellow Frenchman Eduardo Camavinga can succeed at the club if they emulate Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

“The important thing is that they understand each other, that they don’t step on each other. Let them share the work as Modric and Kroos have done for so long. It depends on them. It does not depend on the coach or the teammates. If they say yes, I’m going to succeed, they will. They have to believe it.”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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