December 5, 2022

N’Golo Kante’s Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season.

With N’Golo Kante’s contract expiring at Chelsea at the end of the season, attention has turned to replacing the France international at Stamford Bridge.

The midfielder has been pivotal for the Blues since his arrival in 2016, though his injury woes have hampered his career of late.

Kante has made just two appearances for the Blues so far this season, being unavailable since the arrival of Graham Potter.

The former Brighton boss revealed that the midfielder has suffered a setback in his rehabilitation, further fuelling speculation that his time at the club is set to conclude.

Todd Boehly has promised Potter that he will be well-backed in the upcoming transfer windows, and money will certainly be invested in the centre of the park.

According to Simon Phillips, the Blues have drawn up a shortlist of targets that are being considered ahead of the January transfer window.

He said: “I’ve been told at the moment, Chelsea are looking at Edson Alvarez from Ajax, Moises Caicedo from Brighton, Weston McKennie from Juventus, and Bruno Guimarães from Newcastle. The latter seems ambitious.

“Chelsea have a shortlist of midfielders they are looking at for a priority area in January, and again in the summer. Declan Rice is more possible come the summer rather than in January, same goes for Jude Bellingham, but I think he goes to either Liverpool or Real Madrid.”

The Blues are the latest club to be linked with an approach for Bellingham, with his value at Borussia Dortmund expected to soar if he impresses at the World Cup for England. The teenager is likely to fetch a fee of over £100million, a fee that certainly isn’t out of reach for Chelsea.

Signing Caicedo from Brighton may also be an expensive transaction for Boehly given that the Amex Stadium outfit will not part ways with players if their asking price is not matched, with the £62m fee agreed for Marc Cucurella over the summer only evidencing that.

Potter played a key part if Caicedo’s emergence in the Premier League though, recalling him from a loan spell in January to play in his system.

Given that Brighton will not want to strengthen a fellow Premier League outfit midseason, Caicedo may fall into a similar bracket to Guimarães in that he is untouchable in the short term.

Though it remains to be seen whether the Blues are able to use their financial strength to open unlikely negotiations with any of the aforementioned stars.

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