Chelsea schedule urgent Pochettino talks with exit-linked midfielder after offer to mimic Cristiano Ronaldo

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino

N’Golo Kante has received an offer to play in Saudi Arabia rather than extend his contract with Chelsea, per a report – which has prompted the Blues to book in two new rounds of showdown talks with the midfielder.

As things stand, Kante is due to reach the end of his contract at Stamford Bridge later this month. It would bring an end to his seven-season spell with the club, though they haven’t given up hope of keeping him yet.

Kante confirmed last month that he wants to stay at Chelsea and be part of their changing project. However, time is running out for him to pledge his future to the club officially.

And according to a report from 90min – which mirrors similar information revealed by TEAMtalk a month ago – he has now been approached with the opportunity to play in Saudi Arabia.

Cristiano Ronaldo moved to the Saudi Professional League with Al Nassr earlier this year and there have been rumours of plenty of other high-profile players being targeted in that region.

Another Chelsea veteran in the shape of Thiago Silva was recently approached about moving to Saudi Arabia, for example, but he seems ready to stay in west London.

Per 90min, it is now Kante who has a decision to make about whether to move to the Middle East, where a lucrative contract offer would be on the table.

The report does not reveal which specific club in the Saudi Pro League might end up with Kante, who also has admirers at Paris Saint-Germain in his native France and a few Serie A sides in Italy.

Chelsea due for Kante showdown talks

But in response to the growing interest in the 32-year-old, Chelsea have booked in two rounds of talks with Kante, it is claimed.

First, Chelsea’s current officials will hold new discussions with the 2018 World Cup winner. Then, Mauricio Pochettino will hear from Kante ahead of starting his new job as the Chelsea head coach.

Technically, Pochettino isn’t due to formally start his job until July 1, which will also be the first day of Kante being a free agent unless Chelsea can get his signature on a new contract before the end of this month.

Whether that complicates the situation somewhat remains to be seen, but Chelsea will hope to gain some clarity soon.

Kante has made 269 appearances for the club since signing from Leicester City as a Premier League champion in 2016. Injuries have limited him to only nine outings this season – and it should soon become clear if it was his last or not.

Regardless of what happens with Kante, there could be several changes to Chelsea’s midfield this summer. The likes of Mason Mount (a target for Man Utd), Mateo Kovacic (wanted by Man City), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (linked with AC Milan) and Conor Gallagher (who may yet want to stay) are attracting interest from elsewhere. Furthermore, Denis Zakaria will be going back to Juventus after his loan spell.

In turn, players like Sporting’s Manuel Ugarte and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo have been identified as ideal replacements.

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