Manchester United are interested in signing N’Golo Kante from Chelsea. Kanté’s contract expires next year and United, keen to strengthen their midfield after a poor performance last season, are keen to see if the France international could be sold this summer.
At the moment it seems unlikely that Chelsea would be willing to sell. Kanté has been a crucial player for Thomas Tuchel and while there are concerns about the 31-year-old’s injury record, he remains one of the best players in the Premier League when he is 100% fit. He was outstanding when Chelsea won the Champions League in 2021 and the club’s new owners would have to think long and hard before deciding on a sale to United.
Tuchel has made no secret of his desire to work with a well-trained Kanté. Likewise, the manager has hinted at frustration at the former Leicester player’s struggle to put a string of games together. “I think he’s our key, key, key player; but key players have to be on the pitch,” said Tuchel this month. “He only plays 40% of the games. So it might be a miracle that we finished third.
“Because he is our Mo Salah, he is ours [Virgil] van Dijk, he is ours [Kevin] De Bruine. He’s our Neymar, he’s our Kylian Mbappé; He’s the guy who makes the difference. And if you only have 40% of it, that’s a huge problem.”
Kanté’s troubles can be traced back to his knee injury while helping Chelsea beat Arsenal in the Europa League final three years ago. The game underscored his importance, but his commitment comes at a price.
Chelsea have often had to play without Kanté since then and given his contract situation, they could make a decision if United make a suitable offer. United are rebuilding under Erik ten Hag and Kanté, who won the title with Chelsea and Leicester, would improve their midfield. Ten Hag are also interested in Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong and West Ham’s Declan Rice, who is likely to be overpriced.
Chelsea are planning a rebuild and would like to have a confident midfielder. However, it is expected that they would rather make room by selling Jorginho instead of Kanté. Jorginho also has a year left on his contract and is wanted by Juventus.
Tuchel is expected to find a place in midfield for Conor Gallagher after the youngster’s impressive loan spell at Crystal Palace. He, too, is interested in Rice. Chelsea have fallen behind Liverpool and Real Madrid in the race to sign Monaco’s Aurélien Tchouaméni.