Chelsea report: N’Golo Kante pushing to seal Barcelona free transfer in January

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante
(Image credit: Getty)

Barcelona are in advanced negotiations with Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, say reports, and the France international wants a deal done by January.

The Spanish side are looking for a successor to Sergio Busquets, while their financial difficulties make the free agent market particularly attractive.

Kante is in the final year of his deal at Stamford Bridge and can therefore agree a pre-contract with another club from the turn of the year.

According to Spanish outlet Sport (opens in new tab), Barca are interested in Kante and talks are at an advanced stage.

The 31-year-old wants his future decided and is pressing to have a preliminary deal struck by January so he can focus on the remainder of the season with the Blues.

Barcelona are yet to fully commit to the deal, which is a concern to Kante as he has other options on the table – including Juventus - and doesn’t want to delay his decision.

Part of the reason for Barca’s hesitation is the other free agents who could be on the market, such as Youri Tielemans of Leicester and Kante’s Chelsea team-mate Jorginho.

Kante joined Chelsea from Leicester in 2016 after playing a key role in the Foxes’ improbable Premier League title win.

The defensive midfielder has made more than 250 appearances for the Blues, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League, Champions League and Club World Cup at Stamford Bridge.

However, he’s missed almost all of the 2022/23 season with a hamstring injury that saw him miss out on France’s World Cup squad, as Les Bleus finished runners-up to Argentina.

More Chelsea stories

Chelsea are on red alert amid reports that Juventus could try to prise Mason Mount (opens in new tab) away from Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are one of three Premier League clubs (opens in new tab) looking to sign Josko Gvardiol, who has starred for Croatia at World Cup 2022.

And long-time transfer target Declan Rice has admitted he is open to a move away from West Ham (opens in new tab) next summer.

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.