Manchester United are interested in signing N’Golo Kanté from Chelsea. Kanté’s contract expires next year and United, desperate to strengthen their midfield after underperforming last season, are keen to find out if the France international could be sold this summer.
At the moment, it seems unlikely that Chelsea are willing to sell. Kanté has been a crucial player for Thomas Tuchel and although the 31-year-old’s injury record is cause for concern, he remains one of the best players in the Premier League when 100% fit. He was outstanding when Chelsea won the Champions League in 2021 and the club’s new owners should think long and hard before deciding to sell to United.
Tuchel did not hide his desire to work with a Kanté in great shape. Similarly, the manager alluded to frustration with the former Leicester player’s struggle to set up a series of games. “I think he’s our key, key, key player; but key, key, key players have to be on the pitch,” Tuchel said this month. “He only plays 40% of the games. So maybe it’s a miracle that we came in third place.
“Because he is our Mo Salah, he is our [Virgil] van Dijk, he is our [Kevin] DeBruyne. He’s our Neymar, he’s our Kylian Mbappé; it is he who makes the difference. And if you only have it at 40%, that’s a huge problem.
Kanté’s problems date back to when he starred with a knee injury and helped Chelsea beat Arsenal in the Europa League final three years ago. The game underscored his importance, but his involvement came at a cost.
Chelsea have often had to play without Kanté since and his contract situation means they could have a decision to make should United make a suitable offer. United are rebuilding under Erik ten Hag and Kanté, who won the title with Chelsea and Leicester, would improve his midfield. Ten Hag is also interested in Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong and West Ham’s Declan Rice, who are probably overpriced.
Chelsea are planning a rebuild and would like a commanding midfielder. However, they are expected to prefer to make room by selling Jorginho instead of Kanté. Jorginho also has a year left on his contract and he is wanted by Juventus.
Tuchel is expected to find space in midfield for Conor Gallagher following 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 Monegasque Aurélien Tchouaméni.