N’Golo Kante’s contract talks with Chelsea have reportedly hit a snag, which could leave the midfield maestro as a free agent this summer.
Conversations between the London club and the 2018 World Cup winner began last year, but were halted as ownership of the Blues switched hands to a consortium led by Todd Boehly.
Now The Athletic are claiming the French 31-year-old is holding out for a longer deal than the two year offer on the table – with an option for a third year, according to the verbal commitment from Boehly’s side.
Kalidou Koulibaly, also 31, received a four-year deal when he joined Chelsea in July.
Kante joined from Leicester in 2016, and has been a popular part of Chelsea’s set-up, guiding them to the Premier League, the Champions League and the Club World Cup during his time in London.
He has proved himself to be among the best midfielders in the world, but he could leave Chelsea for nothing if negotiations cannot be resolved.
Back in August, Sportsmail reported that PSG were tracking Kante’s contract situation – with an eye to bringing him back to club football in France for the first time since 2015.
The Athletic also believe two English clubs would be interested in the Frenchman, as well as sides in Germany and Spain.
Before being sacked from the club, Thomas Tuchel had spoken out about Kante’s injury problems, with the midfielder currently on the sidelines again until the end of September after picking up an injury against Tottenham.
He has featured in just two games this season, but put in sterling performances away to Everton and at home to Spurs, helping Chelsea to four points from those two matches.
Without Kante, Chelsea’s form has suffered, and the German boss departed last week, before being quickly replaced by Graham Potter.
It remains to be seen if Boehly and Kante can agree a deal to form a longer working relationship, as the French midfielder would be able to start talking to potential new clubs from the start of 2023.