Chelsea are eager to make key man N’Golo Kante the next player they enter into contract talks with, one journalist has claimed.
There are several stars the Blues are currently looking to tie down to new deals at Stamford Bridge. A whole host of contracts are close to expiring either at the end of this season or the following year. And they are working through the priority list.
Kante, whose expiry with the club is in 2023, seems to be next in their line for talks.
That’s according to transfer journalist Ekrem Konur. He tweeted that the reigning European champions want to extend his contract by two years.
With just over 18 months to go, they will make sure discussions with the France international begin soon.
He is undoubtedly one of the top midfielders in the world and has shown no sign of slowing down at the age of 30.
Kante has already had two spells on the sidelines so far this season, though, so it is understandable that Chelsea don’t want to commit to his future past 2025.
Option will be taken on Azpi
His team-mate, Cesar Azpilicueta, is one of the more urgent players on the club’s list of renewals. His current deal comes to an end next June.
Talks have not yet begun with the 32-year-old, either. And with the January transfer window around the corner, Barcelona have taken an interest.
However, Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda claims there’s ‘no chance’ of the Spanish giants getting the chance to sign him.
He reports there is an extension clause in Azpilicueta’s contract. And Chelsea will exercise this option to keep him in west London for another season.
The captain may not be a starter like Kante, but he is still a crucial squad player for Thomas Tuchel.
And because a fee would then be needed to sign him, Barcelona would no longer be interested in pursuing his signature.
Contract crisis at the back
Despite have held talks since the start of the season, Chelsea are yet to get any of their expiring stars to put pen to paper.
Centre-back Andreas Christensen has been particularly tricky to come to new terms with.
And The Telegraph report his future is still unresolved. The two parties have reached a halt in discussions once more about the terms and length.
A new five-year deal was close to being agreed. But that fell through at the final hurdle, leading them back to square one.
With Thiago Silva set to leave, and talks with Antonio Rudiger also struggling, there could be a defensive crisis at Stamford Bridge.
The clock is ticking down to the New Year when the vital defenders can negotiate a free transfer with a new club.