Tchouameni

Tchouameni a target for Real Madrid: Monaco want 60 million euros
Monaco are getting ready to swell their coffers once more with the sale of another young star.

This time it’s 21-year-old Aurelien Tchouameni, who is turning heads around Europe, most notably at Real Madrid.

Los Blancos are pursuing a deal that could be worth up to 60 million euros for the midfielder, and they have taken steps to ward off interest from Juventus and the big fish of the Premier League.

It will be the latest in a long line of exports from the principality, with the club bringing in close to one billion euros in the last decade.

“Our philosophy consists of signing young and talented players and surrounding them with more experienced players who can help them develop,” said Vadim Vasilyev, Monaco’s former vice-president.

Monaco’s high-water mark of recent seasons was their Ligue 1 title win in 2017, as well as their stunning run to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Then-sporting director Luis Campos was also a vital part of that.

“My role was to reconstruct a club that was not ready to challenge at the highest level [at that point],” he said.

“Setting up a method of recruiting players was one of our first steps.

“It started with a large outlay on players like Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho.

“But suddenly our capacity to do that disappeared and we had to instead find younger players who we could develop and sell on, and whose fees would sustain the club.”

And that has borne fruit, with the club’s incomings (978m euros) covering their outgoings (952m euros) since 2011.

“I stopped being at the club day-to-day and began living in planes, hotels and stadia around the world,” Campos said.

“Fortunately, Vadim believed in me and my choices.

“Our ability to buy low was the key.”

Some of the big sales

An early example was the five million euro signing of Anthony Martial in 2013, followed by his 60m exit to Manchester United two years later.

The same thing happened with Thomas Lemar, who signed for four million euros from Caen in 2015 and was moved on to Atletico Madrid for an astonishing 72m euros in 2018.

The deals continued apace throughout those years.

Tiemoue Bakayoko left for 40m euros, having arrived for eight million euros.

Fabinho was signed for six million euros and was sold for 45m euros.

Bernardo Silva arrived for 15.75m euros from Benfica and went to Manchester City for 50m euros.

“I remember his first day at Monaco,” Campos said.

“People said ‘who is this guy?’ as he was so small.

“He’d been playing in the Benfica academy and in the second division, but now he is one of the best players in the world.”

Of course, Kylian Mbappe was the jewel in the crown as far as transfer fees were concerned, with the forward joining Paris Saint-Germain for 145m euros having exploded onto the scene in 2017.

And though different sporting directors have been and gone since then, Monaco are continuing down their route of identifying good youngsters and selling them on at huge mark-ups.

Tchouameni, signed from Bordeaux for 18m euros in 2020, looks set to be next to leave for big money.

“He’s a player we had followed for a long time,” said Monaco general manager Oleg Petrov.

“His signing formed part of our strategy of signing high-potential players.

“He will continue his development here whilst also helping the team.”

Tchouameni may not do that for much longer, however.

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