Chelsea: ‘Contract talks have stalled’ for £30m star at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea manager Graham Potter during training

Chelsea ‘don’t want to take risks’ when it comes to handing star midfielder N’Golo Kante a new contract, according to journalist Simon Phillips.

Talks appear to have reached an impasse between the 31-year-old’s representatives and the Blues’ hierarchy over fresh terms as they are yet to agree on several important factors.

What is the latest news involving Kante?

Kante has established himself as one of the world’s best engine room operators since arriving at Chelsea from Leicester City in a £30 million move back in 2016.

However, the France international has entered the final 12 months of his £290,000-per-week contract at Stamford Bridge, meaning he could seek pastures new imminently.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein recently reported that Kante has asked for a three-year deal with the option to extend his stay by a further year.

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However, the Chelsea chiefs have only offered the tough-tackling dynamo two years with a 12-month option, sparking speculation that he could agree a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club in January.

The Daily Mail claim that Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain have a long-standing interest in Kante and finally could make their move in the upcoming winter window.

What has Phillips said about Kante?

Kante has reportedly missed 72 games through injury for Chelsea since arriving just over six years ago and is currently sidelined with a hamstring problem.

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And Phillips has informed GiveMeSport that he believes Kante’s fitness concerns are why the contract talks have ‘stalled for now’.

He said: “They don’t want to take risks, and they want to manage his condition. But the injury concerns are mainly why contract talks have stalled for now.

Who could replace Kante in midfield?

Luckily for manager Graham Potter, he is blessed with several top-level options in central midfield at this moment in time.

The likes of Jorginho, Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Denis Zakaria and Mateo Kovacic are all available and eager to secure a regular starting berth in west London.

Nevertheless, Jorginho is also out of contract next summer, while Zakaria is only at the club on a season-long loan deal from Juventus.

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Teenagers Cesare Casadei and Carney Chukwuemeka also arrived over the summer from Inter Milan and Aston Villa respectively, though, meaning Potter is not short of options in the middle of the park.

That means Chelsea are potentially better equipped to deal with Kante’s potential exit than many may think, meaning his departure could be manageable for Potter and co.

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