Barcelona are reportedly close to reaching an agreement to sign Chelsea star N’Golo Kante at the end of the season when his contract expires. The midfielder has struggled with injuries over the past few years at Stamford Bridge, leading to the club to consider investing in younger stars in the centre of the park.
Kante has been a stalwart for Chelsea since his arrival from Leicester City in 2016, with his performances over the years leading many to consider him one of the best midfielders in Premier League history. Though his time in England is now set to end on a sour note, having made just two appearances so far this season and still suffering with a hamstring injury.
According to SPORT, Barcelona are ‘holding talks’ with Kante’s representatives and a pre-contract agreement is ‘practically in place’. The two parties spoke last summer, but a deal never materialised then as the Camp Nou outfit were not in the market for a central midfielder.
However, with Sergio Busquets set to leave the club, a holding midfielder is now a priority for Xavi. Barcelona are gaining a reputation for acquiring top talents for free, after signing Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie over the summer when they were out of contract.
Chelsea have made it no secret that they are planning to invest into their midfield ranks over the coming transfer windows, with Todd Boehly willing to provide Graham Potter with the tools that he requires to build a strong squad that can challenge for titles in the future. Thus, young players such as Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham and Brighton prospect Moises Caicedo are serious considerations.
Though a bid for either will not be funded by the sale of Kante in January – Chelsea’s last chance to cash in on the former Leicester City star – it appears. Barcelona president Joan Laporta spoke about the prospect of January signings last month, where he said: “We have a team that we planned in the summer, and in principle, we don’t have to do anything unless unforeseen circumstances arise that have to be resolved.
“In principle, we don’t have to do anything in January because we already worked a lot in the summer on the subject of the [economic] levers that led us to make a very competitive team.
“We are very satisfied with how the season is going. Despite the slip in the Champions League, the priority this year is La Liga and we are going [for it] first of all, [while] improving our game with very young players. Seeing how players like Gavi, Pedri, [Alejandro] Balde, or Ansu [Fati] are performing … they are players who generate very good sensations.”