Chelsea will look for a replacement for N’Golo Kante this year, even if he stays at Stamford Bridge, transfer insider Dean Jones has informed GiveMeSport.
Reports claim progress over a new deal for the midfielder is being made, but Jones says the Blues still want to sign his successor in 2023.
Chelsea contract news – N’Golo Kante
According to The Athletic, contract talks between Kante and Chelsea are heading in the right direction.
It comes after the same outlet claimed last summer that the Frenchman had rejected an initial two-year deal with the option of another 12 months.
Kante is into the final six months of his existing contract, which means he is now able to talk to foreign clubs about a free transfer.
However, with discussions between the 31-year-old and Chelsea over an extension currently going well, there is a good chance that he ends up remaining at Stamford Bridge.
What has Dean Jones said about N’Golo Kante and Chelsea?
While Chelsea’s plan is to keep hold of Kante, Jones says they still want to sign someone who can eventually replace the midfielder.
Speaking to GMS, the journalist said: “He’s only 31, but when you consider how he plays… you need him at full throttle, otherwise you lose his effectiveness.
“It’s just not likely, that any time soon, you’re going to see him with that consistency of games, and that’s why Chelsea are actually still going to be looking at signing his replacement in 2023, even if the two end up overlapping for a year.”
Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: Rumours and Everything You Need To Know
Who could Chelsea sign to replace N’Golo Kante?
West Ham captain Declan Rice is one midfielder who is currently thought to be on Chelsea’s radar.
At the end of November, journalist Simon Phillips told GMS that the 23-year-old is a priority target for the west London club.
In terms of profile, Rice and Kante are quite similar, with both players exceptional at winning the ball back. Last season, the former made 2.2 tackles per Premier League game, which was the second-highest average in his squad, as per WhoScored.
As for the latter, he had an average of 2.5, putting him above all of his team-mates in that area (also via WhoScored).
It certainly looks like Kante’s contract, which is worth £290,000 a week, according to Spotrac, could now be extended. However, with the France international not getting any younger and struggling to stay fit, Chelsea and Graham Potter signing a long-term replacement for him soon would make a lot of sense.
You can find all of the latest football news and rumours right here.
News Now – Sport News