Russia star Aleksandr Golovin is on the verge of joining Monaco despite interest from Chelsea and Juventus, and the Ligue 1 club's vice president, Vadim Vasilyev, believes it is because there is a better project on offer at the Stade Louis II.
The CSKA Moscow midfielder became a prime target after his impressive showings for the hosts at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and Vasilyev said in a statement Monaco had to work hard to snap him up, per Metro:
"Monaco and CSKA this afternoon finally agreed on the transfer of Golovin. They really were complicated. Honestly, until the last moment, I was not sure that I would be able to coordinate this transfer. In addition to Chelsea, there was Juventus for Golovin. In early May this year I heard from one the leaders of the Turin club that Aleksandr’s transfer to their team was a done deal.
"However, our main competitor was Chelsea. I believe Monaco offered more favourable conditions for the club and a more understandable sports project for Golovin. Chelsea—this is a top club, which I treat with great respect. However, the midfield in the English team is overloaded. In my opinion, Golovin will definitely play in any of the leading clubs in the world. But it will [give] him some time, a transition stage."
Metro explained the 22-year-old has yet to undergo a medical with the Ligue 1 club but is set to join for around €30 million (£27 million) on a five-year deal.
Vasilyev is likely correct in his assertion that Golovin will get a lot more game time at Monaco than if he had moved to Chelsea.
Monaco have proved over the past few seasons that they have the ideal environment to allow young talent to flourish, especially with Leonardo Jardim as manager.
The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar, Fabinho, Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Bernardo Silva were all given lots of experience in Monaco's first team at young ages before securing moves to bigger clubs.
As a developing player who has only proved himself at club level in Russia, Monaco should be the perfect place for Golovin to continue his progression before possibly moving to a major European club in two or three years.
Had he gone to Chelsea, he would have been competing with Jorginho, Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater, N'Golo Kante and Bakayoko for a place in central midfield.