Ian Wright urges Chelsea to find N’Golo Kante successor; Romelu Lukaku concern emerges

Chelsea star N'Golo Kante

Ian Wright thinks N’Golo Kante could soon need replacing in the Chelsea midfield, while the pundit is also worried about Romelu Lukaku’s future at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are heading into an uncertain period as Todd Boehly prepares to take over the club from Roman Abramovich. The new owners have spoken about their ambitious plans, although it’s not clear if they will part with as much money as their predecessor.

Abramovich was willing to write off huge debts and transfer fees to keep Chelsea competitive under plenty of managers. Since he became owner in 2003, the Blues have won five Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues and five FA Cups – as well as a host of other accolades.

But pressure is already mounting on Boehly and his counterparts to help Chelsea catch up with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

They won last season’s Champions League final against City. After this, many were expecting Thomas Tuchel’s side to challenge for the Premier League title.

But it has been a mixed campaign for Chelsea. They have won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup this term. But Tuchel’s men have also lost in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals, while also finishing third in the league.

Wright thinks big changes are in store at the west London outfit this summer. He reckons Kante could be sold – as long as a replacement can be found – due to the Frenchman’s worsening injury record.

And Lukaku’s future is also unclear after a troublesome season back at Stamford Bridge, despite the striker costing £97.5million.

N’Golo Kante tipped to be replaced

“What’s going to happen with Chelsea next summer season? Without an owner who used to just write off £100m every year,” Wright said (via football.london).

“Is the new owner going to be able to do that? Because that’s how they’ve been able to do what they have been doing.

“How’s that going to happen now? They need defenders. They’re going to need defenders.

“Kante’s starting to get a little bit of injuries, so they’re going to need to replace him. What’s happening with Lukaku?

“It’s just crazy what’s happening at Chelsea. I can’t really put my finger on it deep down. But form’s gone, you see some of the games they’ve been so poor in the games.”

As football.london’s article mentions, Chelsea have been pursuing Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni. But the midfield enforcer is on the verge of joining Real Madrid.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Tchouameni has told his Monaco team-mates he intends to sign for the Spanish giants.

Tchouameni would have been a top-class successor to Kante in Tuchel’s midfield. But they must now find an alternative transfer target ahead of the summer.

They are monitoring Declan Rice’s situation, with the Englishman continuing to reject new West Ham contracts. However, he will cost in excess of £150m. And it remains to be seen if Boehly will green light such a move.

Meanwhile, there has reportedly been a snag in Chelsea’s hunt to sign Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig.