N’Golo Kante remains a “fundamental” part of Frank Lampard’s plans after the Chelsea boss swatted aside speculation over the World Cup winner’s future.
The Blues have been the most active player in the 2020 summer transfer window.
High-profile deals have been completed for superstars the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is expected to be the next player through the door with a deal agreed with Rennes.
Declan Rice also continues to be linked in a pricey transfer too. As a result, several current player exits have now been speculated.
Rarely-seen centre-forward Michy Batshuayi recently completed his loan move to Crystal Palace. But further exits are expected to be forthcoming over the next few weeks.
One man who is unlikely to leave, however, if Kante.
The France star has been the subject of speculation linking with Inter Milan for much of the summer. Reports earlier this week suggested Antonio Conte’s side had failed with a swap approach involving Christian Eriksen.
However, Manchester United also reportedly remain keen. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side would likely pounce were the Blues to indicate their willingness to sell.
Reports in Italian publication Tuttosport claim United are ready to propose an approach for Kante of their own.
However, Lampard is adamant Kante remains a vital part of his plans and has no wish to sell the midfielder.
“I think pretty much every club in the world would want N’Golo Kante,” the Chelsea boss told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I have seen those reports as well. He is an incredible player and person and I certainly don’t want to lose him. He’s fundamental in terms of what I’m trying to do.
“We can obviously talk about the attacking players we have but someone like N’Golo and the work he does in midfield.
“It was a difficult year for him last year because of the injuries. He came into the season with an injury and it was a domino effect through the year. It was probably a culmination of four or five years of games, so I’m really excited to have him fit. He looks fresh, he’s a big deal to me.”
The finances behind Chelsea’s £200m splurge explained
Meanwhile, TEAMtalk takes a detailed look at how Chelsea have funded this season’s £200m-plus spending splurge.
After several years in hibernation, Chelsea have splashed the cash in this summer’s Covid-infected transfer window.
And despite the snipes from rivals supporters sceptical of how they are funding their spending spree, it is easy to explain why the west London club were in prime position to attack the transfer market ahead of the new Premier League.