Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Manchester United to force Chelsea into decision over N’Golo Kante transfer

NGolo Kante Chelsea May 2022

Manchester United are exploring the possibility of luring Chelsea midfield kingpin N’Golo Kante from Stamford Bridge, claims a reliable source.

United are planning an overhaul of their squad under Erik ten Hag and the Dutchman is keen on a midfield revamp. Ten Hag’s midfield numbers need boosting with Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic all leaving this summer.

Ten Hag is understood to be keen on a deal for Barcelona playmaker Frenkie de Jong. But that deal will not come cheap and will depend on whether Barca are financially able to hang on to the former Ajax man.

Whether Ten Hag sees De Jong as well as Kante in a new-look United midfield is unclear. But The Guardian report that United have an interest in the player.

Kante will be out of contract next summer and United are exploring whether Chelsea are open to offers for the 31-year-old. It is not the fiorst time the idea has been mooted.

Earlier this month a report in the Daily Mirror claimed that Old Trafford could be Kante’s next destination.
The Paris-born star has won the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup at Chelsea, but his time on the pitch has been declining due to injuries.

He made 42 appearances last season, but only 21 starts in the Premier League. Knee problems limited his game time and Thomas Tuchel has referenced the player’s injury troubles.

Tuchel has Kante decision to make

“I think he is our key, key, key player; but key, key, key players need to be on the pitch,” Tuchel said earlier this month. “He plays only 40% of the games. So it’s maybe a miracle that we arrived in third place.

“Because he is our Mo Salah, he is our [Virgil] van Dijk, he is our [Kevin] De Bruyne. He is our Neymar, he is our Kylian Mbappé; he is the guy who makes the difference. And if you only have him 40% it’s a huge problem.”

But the German coach is also well aware of Kante’s importance to the club.

He added: “[Someone] like N’Golo with the mentality of a helper, a water carrier, this makes the difference and big teams and successful teams need this. That’s why we love him so much, and everybody wants to play with him and why we miss him so much when he is not there.”

Chelsea themselves are rebuilding and the report claims the Blues would prefer to sell Jorginho instead of Kante.

United meanwhile are watching on with interest knowing that they have lured Chelsea players north previously.

In January 2014 Juan Mata completed a £37.1m move from Chelsea to Manchester United.