According to Spanish outlet Sport, Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has been in regular contact with Barcelona over a free transfer next summer.
The French star has been an important player for the London giants for the past six years but he has struggled for minutes this season due to a long-term hamstring injury. Kante is unlikely to return to competitive action until March next year but Sport claim that Barcelona are in regular talks with him.
The report adds that the bases of an agreement are ‘practically closed’ and Kante could join Barcelona at the expiry of his contract (June 2023), provided he proves his fitness. The World Cup winner will need to accept a pay-cut on his current weekly salary but Barcelona are prepared to include bonuses.
Kante is now 31 years of age but he continues to produce world-class performances on his day. This season, he has barely played due to a hamstring problem and this could be a reason behind his potential departure from Chelsea next summer.
The London giants have been patient with the Frenchman amid his injury concerns, but it has come to a point where they may decide to part ways with him. West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice could be seen as his probable replacement.
It is well known that Chelsea are long-term admirers of Rice and they have an excellent chance to land the England star next summer. Meanwhile, Kante could be a good signing for Barcelona if he can stay injury-free over the next few years.
The Catalans are currently looking into the future with captain Sergio Busquets no longer in his prime. The Spaniard could be replaced by Kante, who will feel he has more to offer during the back end of his playing career. The Frenchman could relish a new challenge.
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