Chelsea face a potential fight to retain the services of N’Golo Kante, as Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois are pushing Real Madrid’s leadership to sign the 2018 World Cup winner, according to France Football via Sport Witness.
Hazard left Stamford Bridge for the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer for a fee that could exceed £150million (BBC), and is believed to be keen on reuniting with Kante in Spain after Los Blancos were linked with a move for the influential midfielder.
According to The Athletic, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is already compiling a list of potential players to target in 2020, having spearheaded a mass overhaul of his squad this summer with Ferland Mendy, Luka Jovic, Rodrygo Goes and Eder Militao joining Hazard in becoming Galacticos.
One name high on that list is said to be Kante, as Zidane feels the 28-year-old can make a major difference in the engine room of his side, and play a part in making Los Blancos a dominating force in Europe again, having slumped last season to a 19-point deficit to fierce rivals FC Barcelona in La Liga.
Courtois and Hazard are now believed to have joined Zidane in asking the Real hierarchy to fund a move for Kante, having won the Premier League alongside the Frenchman.
A move would not be cheap given Kante’s importance at Stamford Bridge. After all, he only signed a new five-year contract last season. That should ensure that Real are quoted a sizable figure should Los Blancos come knocking, having taken two of the West London side’s prized assets in the past two years.
Losing Kante would be a devastating loss for Chelsea if he were to leave Stamford Bridge for Real Madrid, or any other side for that matter, as the Frenchman has been one of the most dependable midfielders in the Premier League since he moved to England.
For Chelsea, in particular, only a handful of players have featured more often than the 2018 World Cup winner, with Kante’s 3,139 minutes the fourth-most of any Blues player in 2016/17, his 2,998 in 2017/18 the third-most and his 3,096 last term the fifth-most, per WhoScored.
Only Cesar Azpilicueta and Jorginho won more tackles than Kante last season, too, while the Frenchman came second for interceptions, first for passes blocked and sixth for successful dribbles as he adapted to a more advanced midfield role under Maurizio Sarri.
Chelsea are yet to rely on Kante in the same manner this season as injuries have sidelined the 28-year-old, and his absence has been noticeable with the Blues conceding twice against Norwich, Sheffield United and Wolves.
Chelsea fans, could you cope without Kante in your side for long periods of the season? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Chelsea notifications!