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Chelsea threaten to lose N’Golo Kante for free next summer after new contract talks stalled

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Chelsea threaten to lose N’Golo Kante for FREE next summer if talks over a new contract, with the French midfielder wanting a four-year deal and Paris Saint-Germain monitoring the situation

  • Chelsea could lose midfielder N’Golo Kanté next summer on a free transfer
  • Talks about a new contract for the France international have now stalled
  • Paris Saint-Germain has long been interested in the 31-year-old Frenchman

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Chelsea risk losing one of the world’s best defensive midfielders over the summer for nothing after talks with N’Golo Kante over a stalled contract extension.

Manager Graham Potter is not getting involved in the negotiations, although he said on Tuesday any team would ‘suffer’ if they lost Kante, whose contract expires at the end of this season.

It means Kante will be free to talk to other clubs from January, including Paris Saint-Germain, who have long expressed interest in the 31-year-old Frenchman.

Chelsea could lose N'Golo Kante for free next summer after new contract talks stalled

Chelsea could lose N’Golo Kante for free next summer after new contract talks stalled

It is clear that Kante is looking for a longer contract, similar to the four years given to 31-year-old Kalidou Koulibaly this summer.

Still, taking into account his injury history, Chelsea are believed to have offered a two-year contract with an option for a third.

It is a headache for the regime of Todd Boehly, who is aware of the number of matches he has missed. Kante has only started 20, 24 and 21 games in each of the last three Premier League seasons, largely due to muscle problems.

But when fit, few footballers are as devastatingly effective as Kante, who finished fifth in the 2021 Ballon d’Or amid those injury-limited campaigns.

Chelsea manager Graham Potter admitted any team would 'suffer' if they lose Kante

Chelsea manager Graham Potter admitted any team would 'suffer' if they lose Kante

Chelsea manager Graham Potter admitted any team would ‘suffer’ if they lose Kante

Kante is back in training after a hamstring injury and may be making the selection for AC Milan’s Champions League visit tonight. Potter is eager to get him on the pitch as soon as possible and admits Chelsea have no similar replacement for him.

Potter said at his press conference on Tuesday: “My focus is to help him rehabilitate properly so that he is available to us. When he’s on the pitch, he’s a huge asset to us. The other things (contract talks) are between the club and him.

“My focus is to help him get fit and enjoy his football. There are not many players in world football like him, so the sooner he is back for us, the better. That’s where I leave my focus.’

Kante joined in 2016 for £30 million after becoming a superstar at Leicester. Since then, he has amassed a huge collection of trophies, winning the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, Super Cup and Club World Club with Chelsea and the World Cup with France.

Talks between Kante and the Chelsea hierarchy, including Todd Boehly., continue

Talks between Kante and the Chelsea hierarchy, including Todd Boehly., continue

Talks between Kante and the Chelsea hierarchy, including Todd Boehly., continue

Those who know Kante don’t blame him for thinking he deserves a longer contract. It has been reported that Chelsea’s previous regime was willing to give him a three-year contract with the option of a fourth, before talks were halted by government sanctions against former owner Roman Abramovich.

Conversations with Boehly and Co continue as Potter tries to reinstate him into his team.

Since impressing in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham, Kante has missed seven games due to his injury, with Chelsea winning just three when Thomas Tuchel was replaced by Potter.

“It’s hard to replace someone like him,” Potter added. “He’s a world-class player and any team that loses him will suffer a little. But it is up to the other players to take the step and find the solutions.

“If we look at the options we have, even if there is no direct replacement, there are other solutions, so we have to find the right one.”

Those who know Kante don't blame him for wanting a longer Chelsea contract

Those who know Kante don't blame him for wanting a longer Chelsea contract

Those who know Kante don’t blame him for wanting a longer Chelsea contract

Potter’s quest for solutions led to him using two different systems – 3-5-2 against Red Bull Salzburg and 4-2-2-2 at Crystal Palace – in his first two games as manager.

It was advised to Potter on Tuesday that Wednesday night’s visit to Milan could be a must-win for his side after they started their Champions League group with a defeat at Dinamo Zagreb and a draw at home to Salzburg.

Potter said, ‘It’s an exciting challenge. It’s one we look forward to. It is important to win our home games. We have to play well and create a good atmosphere.’