Incoming manager Erik ten Hag - who will take over at Old Trafford at the end of the season - wants to sign the French World Cup-winning midfielder as he looks to rebuild the Red Devils' squad.
According to the Mirror (opens in new tab), United feel that Kante - whose Blues deal expires next year - is a realistic target.
That is despite the 31-year-old reportedly being a 'near-certainty' to stay at Stamford Bridge amid a possible midfield overhaul.
United's midfield is arguably the department most desperately in need of upgrading - and while Kante may be past his peak, he still has plenty to offer.
His immense energy and ball-winning ability are likely to be particularly appealing to Ten Hag, who has become synonymous with a high-intensity approach at Ajax (opens in new tab).
Were Kante to come in, he could become one part of an entirely new United midfield duo.
There has been talk this week of a move for Frenkie de Jong - who played under Ten Hag at Ajax and could be allowed to leave Barcelona (opens in new tab) during the upcoming transfer window.
And with De Jong's providing poised playmaking and Kante bringing expert break-up play, it feels like the two would complement each other very nicely indeed.
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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and can also occasionally be found watching Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...
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