Chelsea star N’Golo Kante is reluctant to leave Stamford Bridge in the next transfer window. The 29-year-old has been linked with a move away after an injury-hit campaign limiting him to 22 appearances in all competitions. A swap deal with Barcelona that would see Philippe Coutinho go in the opposite direction has been mooted.
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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has not yet signalled to any member of his first-team squad whether he wants them aboard for next season.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with Kante, who is keen to remain with the Blues.
According to Goal, however, there is one condition that could tempt the midfielder into leaving for the Nou Camp.
He would reportedly only be interested in the switch if he was told that Chelsea are looking to sell him.
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The Blues have enquired about Coutinho, who is available after Bayern Munich decided against activating their option to make his loan move permanent.
Reports in Spain have suggested Barcelona could use the former Liverpool midfielder as bait in their attempt to sign Kante.
A move to their La Liga rivals does not appeal to the World Cup winner because he does not want to play a back-up role to Casemiro.
While he is cautious about a return to Paris to join PSG.
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is having a major impact on the financial health of football clubs.
A muted summer transfer window is expected as a result and Lampard has admitted Chelsea’s summer transfer plans have hit a hitch.
“I don’t want to jump the gun because what Liverpool and Manchester City have done has been clear,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’d be a fool to suggest we can bridge that gap quickly because there has been a lot of hard work at those clubs in terms of recruitment of top players, of great coaches.
“We have to be part of that process. We have to do it our way, we can’t try to copy.
“We have had experienced players around this year to help the youngsters but we know there are little areas within the squad… some of that’s what we have on the ground here already, some of that is how we might look to recruit.
“What’s going on in the world has made it very difficult to plan on that front.
“But going into this break I certainly felt we were moving in the right direction and with continued progress and work on the training ground, as well as potentially bringing in some players in key areas to try and help us bridge that gap, yes, I’ve got a strong belief that we can [challenge].”
Chelsea signed Kante from Leicester City in 2016 after inspiring the Foxes to their shock Premier League title triumph in his debut term in England.
He repeated the feat in his first campaign at Stamford Bridge before playing his role in the FA Cup and Europa League triumphs in subsequent seasons.
When Maurizio Sarri pitched up at Chelsea with defensive midfielder Jorginho in tow, the Italian opted to use Kante further up the pitch to widespread criticism.
Sarri’s replacement Frank Lampard has opted to continue using him in a box-to-box role, with Jorginho remaining as the anchorman in midfield.
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