Cesc Fabregas claimed that he spoke to people from Barcelona about signing Aurelien Tchouameni before his move to Real Madrid. However, the club could not afford his signature.
The France international joined AS Monaco from Girondins de Bordeaux in the summer of 2020. He managed to score eight goals and provide seven assists in 95 games across all competitions for the Ligue 1 outfit.
25 of those appearances came alongside Fabregas at the heart of the Monegasques' midfield. Both midfielders departed Monaco this summer - Tchouameni joined Real Madrid for a fee of €80 million while the Spaniard left for Serie B side Como on a free transfer.
Fabregas, who made 151 appearances for Barcelona's senior side from 2011 to 2014, claimed he recommended Tchouameni to the Catalan giants. However, they did not have the financial bandwidth to make the deal happen.
Speaking on the show El Partidazo (h/t LeParisien), he said:
"I know (Aurélien) Tchouaméni very well. I spoke with people from Barça to recruit him. He is a player for the future, but economically they could not recruit him."
The 22-year-old is one of the finest young midfielders in European football and has been capped 12 times by Les Bleus. Real Madrid seem to be future-proofing their midfield after signing Tchouameni from Monaco.
They brought in Eduardo Camavinga from Stade Rennais last summer. The two French youngsters could be long-term replacements for the aging Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in Los Blancos' midfield.
Real Madrid and Barcelona's summer transfer business so far
So far, Barcelona have arguably had a more eventful summer transfer window compared to Real Madrid. The Blaugrana have signed Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Franck Kessie, and Andreas Christensen.
In terms of outgoings, Dani Alves, Oscar Mingueza, Rey Manaj, and Moussa Wague left on free transfers. Clement Lenglet and Francisco Trincao joined Tottenham Hotspur and Sporting CP, respectively, on loan. Aston Villa signed Philippe Coutinho for a fee of €20 million.
Madrid, on the other hand, have made just two signings this summer in the form of Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger. In terms of sales, Luka Jovic and Gareth Bale were allowed to leave on free transfers.
The club also allowed Takefusa Kubo, Borja Mayoral, and Victor Chust to leave on a permanent basis. Both clubs have expunged a number of unwanted players from their books and brought in players that directly strengthen their starting XI.
It remains to be seen if they will make more signings this summer. The two La Liga clubs have apparently been linked with a move to sign Palmeiras' 16-year-old striker, Endrick Felipe.