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Chelsea fear losing N’Golo Kante for free as contract talks stall

Chelsea are struggling to reach an agreement with N’Golo Kante over a new contract, reports The Athletic.

Kante joined Chelsea from Leicester City in 2016, signing a five-year deal for a fee of around £32 million. In his debut season at Stamford Bridge, he was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year, featuring 35 times as the Blues won the Premier League title.

Since then, the midfielder has continued to be one of the best in the world in his position. He has added a Champions League, an FA Cup, and a Europa League to his collection at club level, and helped France to glory at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

With his contract set to expire in 2023, Chelsea will be desperate to tie him down to a new deal in order to avoid losing a player of his quality for free. However, The Athletic claims that discussions over a new contract have hit the buffers.

The south-west Londoners are believed to have offered a two-year extension, with the option of an extra year. However, the Frenchman is unwilling to accept, and is reportedly demanding a longer deal. Under the previous regime, he was apparently in talks to sign an extension for up to four years.

When he’s available, Kante remains one of the world’s best midfielders. But Chelsea have concerns over the 31-year-old’s fitness – he started just 21 league games last season, and has featured just twice this term in all competitions.

Should the two parties fail to reach an agreement, there will be no lack of interest in the midfielder. Two fellow Premier League clubs are said to be keeping an eye on his situation, while there are also potential suitors from Spain, Germany, and France.

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