Chelsea are ready to part with two-time Premier League winner and former PFA Player of the Year N’Golo Kante – if Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain formalise their interest and offer the right price.
Kante has established himself as arguably the best defensive midfielder in the world since first moving to England as completely unknown in 2015, but the Frenchman is now 29 and Chelsea are beginning to consider what comes next.
According to 90min, Real Madrid have a close eye on Kante, seeing the 2018 World Cup winner as part of a French-inspired recruitment plan.
Coach Zinedine Zidane wants Kante at the Bernabeu, as well as his France international colleagues Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.
However, there could be stiff competition for Zidane and Los Blancos because perennial French champions PSG would make a serious bid of their own if they feel Kante is available.
However, while Chelsea remain more than happy with Kante, who has played 164 games since moving to Stamford Bridge from Leicester in 2016, they would consider allowing him to leave at the end of the season if an acceptable bid is received.
As things stand, Kante has three more years left on his current Chelsea contract, but he will be 32 by the time that deal expires and is not expected to extend it.
For the first time in his career, Kante has also started to suffer with injuries this season and had endured three different spells out of action before the campaign was forcibly halted as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
What’s more, Chelsea believe they have other good options in midfield moving forward.
Jorginho is vice-captain, Mateo Kovacic has impressed in recent months, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is returning to full fitness, Ross Barkley is another body and now Billy Gilmour is also getting game time. Mason Mount typically operates further forward but has also been used as a more orthodox central midfielder at times this season as well.