Chelsea could move for promising 21-year-old Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni next summer.
The Blues had the Frenchman on their transfer shortlist but felt he could flourish with another season of experience in Ligue 1.
According to The Athletic, Tchouameni is held in high regard by club chiefs at Stamford Bridge and he will reemerge as an option next summer.
Thomas Tuchel opted to bring in Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day, initially on a season-long loan but with the option to buy.
Chelsea were understood to be concerned that Tchouameni lacked the experience to make an instant impact, despite playing 91 times in Ligue 1 already.
The Blues will be among the clubs tracking his progress carefully this season, with Manchester United also holding an interest.
Didier Deschamps is an admirer and the France boss started Tchouameni alongside Paul Pogba in midfield against Ukraine on Saturday night.
Pogba spoke fondly of his team-mate after the 1-1 draw and clearly rates him highly.
He told Ouest-France: ‘Very very good. He’s not a boy, he’s a man.
‘It was a pleasure to play next to him. He brings a lot of energy. A lot of energy, extraordinary technical and physical quality.
‘We wish him to play lots of matches. and that I am always at his side.’
Chelsea’s midfield contingent of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and now Saul appear to be well set but Tuchel is looking to the future and Tchouameni has been earmarked for future success.
The former Bordeaux man moved to Monaco last year but it seems unlikely the club will be able to hold onto their emerging star for long.
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