N’Golo Kante has informed Chelsea that he wants a long-term commitment from the Blues if he is to sign a new contract.
The 31-year-old Frenchman has entered the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea are keen to address the future of a player who is still widely seen as one of the best midfielders in the world when fit.
Initial negotiations over an extension have been held and it can be understood that Kante has made it clear that he wants a three-year commitment from Chelsea, whose previous regime were notoriously concerned about handing lengthy deals to ageing players.
No formal offer has been made yet, with Chelsea and Kante now working out what each party is looking for in negotiations.
One factor for Chelsea to consider is Kante’s recent injury record. The Frenchman has missed his side’s last five games in all competitions with a muscle issue – his tenth issue since the start of the 2020/21 campaign, having missed 27 games in 2019/20 across eight separate injuries.
Furthermore, Kante’s future is linked to that of fellow midfielder Jorginho, who will turn 31 in December and is also in the final 12 months of his current contract.
Negotiations are yet to take place with the Italian, who has attracted plenty of interest from Serie A, and it can be understood that it is unlikely that Chelsea will hand new contracts to both Jorginho and Kante.
Sources say Chelsea were open to capitalizing on the interest in Jorginho this summer, with Juventus, Roma and Lazio – the latter of whom are managed by the man who brought Jorginho to Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri – all keen.
After addressing the defence during the summer, Chelsea’s new priority is a midfield rebuild, with decisions to be made on the futures of Kante and Jorginho over the coming months.
Mason Mount is in line for a new long-term contract, while Chelsea could soon return to Ajax with a second bid for Edson Alvarez, who wanted to complete a Deadline Day switch to Stamford Bridge.