Chelsea will turn to Real Betis midfielder Guido Rodriguez if N'Golo Kante leaves the club this summer, according to reports.
The Gunners are said to be keeping close tabs on Kante's situation ahead of a potential bid.
The ball-winning midfielder endured an injury-hit campaign last time out, starting only 21 games in the Premier League.
And with Kante set to turn 32 in March and soon to be a free agent, Chelsea (opens in new tab) could be tempted to cash in if the price is right.
Thomas Tuchel might have reservations about selling Kante to a Premier League rival, but his worries could be offset if Chelsea are able to bring in a younger replacement.
According to Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo (opens in new tab), the Blues have identified Rodriguez as a potential successor to Kante in the centre of the park.
The Argentina international has made 100 appearances for Real Betis in all competitions since joining the club in 2020.
Rodriguez was a target for Arsenal last summer but the north Londoners were unable to get a deal over the line.
West Ham (opens in new tab) have also been linked with the 28-year-old in the past and could yet enter the race.
There is a possibility that Chelsea could swoop for the Rodriguez even if Kante stays put in anticipation of the Frenchman seeking pastures new at the end of the campaign.
The midfielder has 24 caps for Argentina and is expected to be a part of Lionel Scaloni's squad for the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Rodriguez, who helped Real Betis win the Copa del Rey last season, has a contract with his current club until 2024.
Chelsea are currently in the United States for their pre-season tour, but Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have not travelled due to their Covid-19 vaccination status.
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