Tottenham Hotspur are looking at an outrageous swoop for Chelsea star N'Golo Kante.
Kante is set to miss the World Cup through injury after winning the trophy four years ago with France. Instead of going to Qatar, however, the midfielder is going to decide his future, with his current Chelsea contract coming to an end next summer.
Arsenal and Barcelona have both shown an interest in signing the 31-year-old, though Tottenham could have the upper hand for one very good reason.
Antonio Conte, the man who brought Kante from title-winning Leicester City to Stamford Bridge, is now in charge at Tottenham and looking for ways to rejuvenate a Spurs side who have stagnated after their frenetic start to the season.
Last night, the Lilywhites had to come from behind against Marseille in the Stade Velodrome to qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions League. It was the fifth time in a row that Conte's side had conceded first.
The Boot Room (opens in new tab) claims that Kante is going to be offered an incentivised new deal at Chelsea to remain in west London while earning heavily if he's available to play. Injuries have plagued him over the last few seasons, with the 31-year-old limping off against Tottenham, coincidentally, in only his second match of this campaign. He is yet to return.
The Blues have never offered a deal like this before – making such an offer intriguing to say the least. But moving to north London could give him – and Conte – another lease of life. The midfielder was a catalyst to helping Chelsea win their last title, under Conte, playing an all-action role that enabled the Italian to field a two-man midfield rather than a three.
With Kante in the side, Conte would perhaps feel freer to field another creative spark in the team, knowing that the general from his last Premier League-winning side was installed as a ball-winner behind the forwards.
“The only way that N’Golo Kante will get close to what he would want at Chelsea in terms of both the length of the contract and also the value of the contract would be to accept some sort of heavily incentivised contract, I think now,” journalist Matt Law said on the podcast, London is Blue (opens in new tab).
“I can’t imagine that Chelsea – and I do know a little bit about this – I don’t think Chelsea are going to make him a huge straight offer of just a set amount and a set length of time. I do think they’ll make him offers but I think they’ll be incentivised. It will be that he could carry on earning an awful lot and go on for a lot longer but it would be a requirement of playing a lot to stay at that sort of level.
“That one is really in the balance. December, with N’Golo not going to the World Cup, lots of talks will be had. Chelsea will know the direction of travel in January when he would be able to talk to foreign clubs. Offers will be made, it’s about how safe he feels with that creative offer.”
Kante is valued at around £36 million by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).
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