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Barcelona closing in on pre-contract agreement for Chelsea star Kante - report

19:40 EAT 19/12/2022
20220830_Kante
Barcelona are close to reaching a pre-agreement with Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, according to a report, with the Frenchman soon out of contract.
  • Barcelona want a new midfielder
  • Chelsea unwilling to meet Kante demands
  • Frenchman hasn't played since August

WHAT HAPPENED? Kante is nearing a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona, according to SPORT. The French midfielder's current deal is set to expire this summer, and Chelsea reportedly have little intention of meeting his demand of a three-year extension, with a two-year offer on the table.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Kante has been a key cog in Chelsea's midfield for years now, but various injury struggles have limited his appearances over the last 18 months. The centre-midfielder has appeared in only two games for the London club in 2022-23.

Barca appear to have their midfield set up for the future, with Gavi and Pedri slated to be at the club for years to come. However, Xavi still wants to bolster that area, with Sergio Busquets coming to the end of his career and Frenkie de Jong's future still uncertain. With Barcelona's restrictive finances, a free transfer is said to make sense for a player who is among the finest midfielders on the planet when fully fit.

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WHAT NEXT FOR KANTE? The midfielder is recovering from a hamstring operation, with a return expected sometime in February. It appears, though, that his days in a Chelsea shirt are numbered.