The 34-year-old midfielder will quit Spotify Camp Nou after 15 years after failing to renew his contract, forcing the Blaugrana to dip into the market for a replacement.
While Bayern Munich star Joshua Kmmich emerged as the club’s primary target to fill Busquets’ boots, a lack of financial muscle has rendered the move impossible.
Unable to comply with La Liga’s Financial Fair Play regulations, Barcelona will likely rely on low-cost deals to strengthen their squad this summer despite regaining the title after four years.
They tried to address the shortage of numbers in the engine room by landing Franck Kessie as a free agent last summer, but the move hasn’t panned out as expected.
The Ivorian could be on his way out at the end of the season after struggling to secure regular playing time under Xavi Hernandez, with a potential return to Serie A on the cards.
But Kessie’s possible exit is the least of Barca’s problems, as replacing Busquets will be a much more difficult task, given the Spaniard’s massive impact on the team over the past decade.
Kante’s playing style differs from the former Spain international’s tiki-taka masterclass, but the 32-year-old could still be an invaluable asset for the Blaugrana if the deal goes through.
After helping Leicester City win an unprecedented Premier League title in 2015/16, the Frenchman switched to Chelsea, becoming one of the world’s most highly-rated midfielders.
A series of injury setbacks over the past two years have plagued Kante’s career at Stamford Bridge, which likely led to the club’s decision against renewing his contract.
He’ll be available as a free agent at the end of the season and was reportedly offered to Barcelona recently, although the Catalans have yet to make a final decision.
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