N’Golo Kante will not sign a new Chelsea contract, making him available on a free transfer next summer, according to Santi Aouna. The French midfielder joined the Blues from Leicester City in 2016 and helped them win the Premier League in his debut season.
The London club’s title win in 2016-17 is the last time they won the league, but triumphs in the FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League have followed. Kante has always been tremendous for Chelsea whenever he has played, but injuries have greatly hindered his game time in the last two years.
This has made his contract situation a particularly sticky situation. The 31-year-old reportedly wants a three-year deal, with Chelsea reluctant due to his injury record.
It is very understandable that the Blues hierarchy would be against this sort of deal and it is unclear if any club in the world would be willing to offer the Frenchman these terms.
Kante was linked with a surprise move to Arsenal in the summer transfer window and the Gunners are one of many clubs to still be in the equation. Paris Saint-Germain have always been interested while Manchester United have also been linked in the past.
As things stand, it looks like the ex-Leicester midfielder will become a free agent next year unless he changes his demands. He is now back in full training after suffering an injury against Tottenham in August and will hope he can put together a string of appearances in the first team under new boss Graham Potter.
While altering his demands over the contract length seems unlikely given the terms handed to Kalidou Koulibaly and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the summer, it is believed that Kante wants to stay at Chelsea and would be open to finishing his career in west London.
Santi Aouna says if he does leave Chelsea, Kante’s preference would be to stay in England and “more precisely London.” After being told by the club that he will not receive a new contract, Kante has begun his search for a new team.
The World Cup winner – who earns around €10 million per season at Stamford Bridge – is not thought to be short of admirers. Since he wants to stay in the capital, Arsenal and Spurs have emerged as two potential destinations. He is not interested in joining PSG, according to the report.
It is added that he wants to stay at Chelsea but there is now “little chance” this will happen. A move to Arsenal would be pretty surprising with Mikel Arteta opting to bring in younger players and has had problems with aging stars on extortionate wages. Spurs, on the other hand, have just signed Yves Bissouma and also brought in Rodrigo Bentancur in the January transfer window.
Head coach Antonio Conte signed Kante when he was Chelsea boss, so this one cannot be ruled out and is certainly more possible than a move to Arsenal.
Failing that, we will probably see Kante playing for Fulham next season. He’d be a decent back-up for Joao Palhinha.
- A Football365 report