Premier League • England

Premier League winner has ‘been in contact’ with LaLiga giants as Chelsea ace set to snub Arsenal, Tottenham advances

Marcos Alonso alongside Chelsea stars Mason Mount, N'Golo Kante, Kai Havertz, Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling

Reports claim Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante will shun interest from both Arsenal and Tottenham to sign for Barcelona next summer.

The 31-year-old is currently in his eighth season for the Blues. He moved to Stamford Bridge just two months after winning the Premier League title with Leicester City. While that triumph remains one of football’s greatest shocks and achievements, his subsequent success in west London was more expected.

The France international has won the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup while at the Bridge.

But it appears as though his time at the club will be over next summer. Kante will be out of contract when the dust settles on 2022-2023 and has many suitors.

And it seems as though there will be no new deal on the table.

The north London duo have been heavily linked to the tenacious schemer. But they are not the only clubs to hold an interest in the ex-Caen player.

Italian giants Juventus emerged as possible suitors last month. However, an even bigger name is now in the picture, with Barcelona thought to be at the front of the queue.

The Catalans want to take him on a free transfer when his present deal expires next summer.

And Sport are reporting that the 2018 World Cup winner is eager to move to the Nou Camp when he becomes a free agent.

The same report suggests that the relevant parties have been speaking ‘for weeks’. And it may be that he inks a pre-contract agreement with the Spanish giants in January.

Barca hold all the aces in that respect. Premier League clubs are prevented from talking to players from clubs in the same league until their deal runs out.

Chelsea may look for January Kante sale

Kante has not featured for Chelsea since the 2-2 draw with Spurs on August 14.  He suffered a nasty hamstring injury and was forced to undergo surgery.

While there is no exact date for his return, it is thought the diminutive midfielder will be back in February next year.

The Parisian has certainly given his all for Chelsea over the years, with 262 appearances in all competitions.

Not primarily a goalscorer, he has notched 12 times for the Blues in the league while assisting 16 goals.

It has recently been reported that Chelsea might look to gain some sort of fee for the Frenchman.

That would mean selling him in the January transfer window, bringing Premier League clubs back into the equation.

But a summer exit is probably on the cards. And reports that his representatives have opened dialogue with Barca makes Spain a more likely destination than Arsenal.

Kante still has much to give

Kante’s current inactivity has seen him ruled out of the World Cup and unable to add to his 53 Les Bleus caps.

But there is every reason to suggest he will be able to get back to the form that made him such a devastating player.

Players are staying in the game for longer these days due to improvements in sport science.

Chelsea appear to have reservations about his long-term future due to concerns over his fitness.

But other clubs seem to think he will still be able to do a decent job at the top level.

Whatever happens, a Chelsea exit seems inevitable and a first stint in Spain could well be on the cards.

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