Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni has confirmed that he received offers from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, but rejected their approach as he only wanted to play for the European Champions.
Tchouameni, 22, joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2022 from Ligue 1 side Monaco for a fee reported to be around €80 million, which could rise to €100 million if certain criteria are met. Signing a six-year deal, he has already appeared in eight competitive games for his new team.
Speaking in an interview with Telefoot, the 22-year-old said that while PSG’s offer was flattering, his mind was already set on moving to Real Madrid.
“I didn’t hesitate with PSG. It’s also a big European club, but I had no doubts: I only wanted Real Madrid,” explained the midfielder.
“€80 million fee? I was not the one who was in the office to give the figures. You arrive in Madrid and you have to perform, stop,” he added.
Unlike his compatriot Eduardo Camavinga, who is still struggling to win the favours of Carlo Ancelotti, Tchouameni has adapted well at Real Madrid so much so that the team is not even sensing the absence of Casemiro, who moved to Manchester United this summer.
Furthermore, the 22-year-old has also claimed a spot in France’s national team, as relayed by his performances against Austria and Denmark in the recent outings, where he completed 90 minutes on both occasions.
Naturally, comparisons were bound to happen and interestingly enough, Tchouameni is compared to a certain Paul Pogba, but the player says he wants to create his own path.
“The new Pogba? It’s flattering because Paul is having a great career, but I am Aurélien Tchouameni,” he corrected. “We still have a relatively different style of play. I try to create my own story,” he added.
Key Real Madrid defender still not 100% fit ahead of Club World Cup semi-final – report
Carlo Ancelotti heads into the FIFA Club World Cup in a pressure cooker situation. The pressure on the manager’s shoulders is immense, for his job could be on the line after Real Madrid’s poor run of form.
The injury situation does not favour the Italian tactician either. Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy, Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and even Thibaut Courtois are out of the semi-final against Al Ahly, leaving him very few options to play with.
According to reports from Jorge C Picon, David Alaba too is not completely fit yet. The Austrian International was given the medical all-clear and entered the squad for Real Madrid’s game against Mallorca, yet started on the bench as he was not at 100%, and that remains the case ahead of tonight’s clash.
The report, however, adds that his mere inclusion in the squad comes as a breather for Ancelotti. Alaba is highly valued by the technical staff, not only for his reading of the game on the field but also for his leadership.
The defender has already missed seven games for Los Blancos since sustaining a muscular injury against Villarreal at La Ceramica. He did indeed come off the bench for under half an hour against Mallorca, but will likely not be risked to start on Thursday.
In his absence, Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rudiger are expected to take centre stage in defence in Morocco. Eduardo Camavinga, meanwhile, could start as left-back again.
Alaba has played 17 games for Los Blancos this season and was one of the players with the most minutes until his injury. In his league campaign so far, he has scored one goal and provided three assists while also averaging a key pass every ninety minutes.
It remains to be seen if the Austrian recovers completely in time for the Club World Cup final should the European Champions make it. As it stands, using a cautious approach is in Real Madrid’s best interest.