Inter Milan have ruled out making a move for Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and insisted he was never a target for Antonio Conte.
Inter Sporting director Piero Ausilio has denied reports linking Conte with a move for Kante.
The Italian coach managed the 29-year-old for two seasons at Stamford Bridge, winning the Premier League and FA Cup together.
But they will not be working together again next season.
“We’ve never started anything to sign Kante from Chelsea. No chance. He’s not a target,” Ausilio told Sky Sports Italia.
France midfielder Kante has been linked with a move away from Chelsea all summer.
Frank Lampard has already made significant progress in his recruitment and if Kai Havertz joins, as expected, then the Blues’ spending will go past £200m.
The midfielder will be the club’s fifth major acquisition this summer, with Thiago Silva joining most recently.
And with so much being invested in new blood, reports had suggested that some of Lampard’s existing squad could be sold to raise funds.
According to Football Insider, one such player is Kante. The World Cup winner has proved influential in helping Chelsea to silverware since his 2016 move from Leicester.
However, the source says Lampard is willing to let him go for the right price, with £60million the fee quoted.
Kante, who is under contract until 2023, will not be heading to Serie A though. He was though limited to just 22 Premier League appearances last season, scoring three goals.
However, Lampard revealed his adoration for the player in June.
Changes for Kante
“In terms of N’Golo, I’ve seen some talk and reports about him and his future at the club,” Lampard said. “I’ve said it a lot of times about N’Golo – one of the best midfield players in the world. I would have loved to be able to play with him. He has everything.
“Coming back to Chelsea and having N’Golo Kanté is something I really want to appreciate and work with. Because of injuries it’s been tough for N’Golo. It’s nice to see him a little bit fresh. N’Golo is so important to us going forward. We need him regularly and hopefully we’ll have that now.”
The Blues boss did though admit that a series of injuries would mean that Kante would have to manage they way he trains if he is to prolong his career at the top level.
Lampard added: “One of the things that looks different for me is that when you do get a few injuries, when you are in your mid-twenties you see things differently and you have to maintain yourself slightly differently and N’Golo certainly buys into that and I think that will help too.”