Chelsea have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni as he has told his teammates that he will join Real Madrid, according to reports in France.
The 22-year-old has been one of the standout midfielders in European football and attracted interest from top clubs.
As per Julien Maynard, Tchouameni has chosen to move to Real Madrid and informed his Monaco teammates of his decision to leave.
Chelsea were believed to be behind both Real Madrid and Liverpool in the race for the youngster due to the sanctions placed on the club as the takeover finalises.
The Blues are unable to engage in transfer negotiations as Real Madrid have moved to the front of the queue for Tchouameni.
Thomas Tuchel's side are looking to rejuvenate their squad ahead of next season, with defensive midfielders Jorginho and N'Golo Kante both in their thirties and out of contract in 2023 but it appears that the 22-year-old Monaco star will not be on his way to Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Blues' scouting department were continuing to watch and monitor the France international towards the end of the season but with the takeover saga dragging towards the end of May, it appears that he has chosen Real Madrid.
Therefore, Chelsea must look elsewhere for midfield reinforcements ahead of Tuchel's rebuild.
The club have shown interest in West Ham's Declan Rice but the Irons are unlikely to allow the England international to leave this summer, whilst Tuchel's men have since been linked with a cheaper option in PSV's Ibrahim Sangare, but could face competition for the Ivorian.
It remains to be seen as to who will sign for the Blues in the summer, with Tchouameni likely to join Madrid now.