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Chelsea: Fabrizio Romano claims N’Golo Kante contract talks progressing

Chelsea have now held positive talks with N’Golo Kante over a potential new deal to keep the French midfielder at Stamford Bridge.

What’s the latest?

Kante’s future in London has come under serious scrutiny of late with the 31-year-old’s contract at Chelsea now set to expire at the end of the current campaign. There were even reports claiming the French international could walk away from the Blues with an agreement unable to be found.

However, Fabrizio Romano has now suggested Chelsea have held fresh talks with the midfielder which could see him put pen to paper on a new deal to keep him playing under Graham Potter:

“It’s important to mention also what happens about Chelsea’s situation with N’Golo Kante.

“Now the focus is on coming back from his injury but the last conversations with his agents have been positive. Positive conversations because Kante is prepared to accept different kinds of terms to stay at Chelsea.

“So a few months ago, it was really complicated and the feeling was for Kante to leave Chelsea on a free. Now it’s a 50/50 between Kante and Chelsea there are chances for him to stay there are chances for him to leave.”

Does Kante deserve a new deal?

Yes

Yes

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No

Ahead of the January window and even the summer market, the Blues have already been linked with a host of names which could potentially be a long-term replacement for the Frenchman at Stamford Bridge.

The likes of Enzo Fernandez, Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice are all names who are believed to be on Todd Boehly’s radar with the future of Kante still uncertain as he enters the final months of his deal in west London.

Optimism at the Bridge

It has been a testing campaign for Kante whose game time in the starting XI has taken a major blow due to a hamstring injury which he picked up back in August against Tottenham Hotspur.

The injury has seen the Frenchman miss every single game since then with just 175 minutes of action under his belt for the entirety of the 2022/23 campaign.

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Cesc Fabregas in action for Chelsea

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However, even last season, the midfielder saw his game time hindered by a hamstring injury with 26 appearances to his name across the Premier League campaign.

With this in mind, could the likes of Rice or Fernandez provide Potter with an upgrade on the World Cup-winning midfielder in the coming transfer windows?

Comparing Kante’s 2021/22 campaign with Fernandez and Rice’s current campaign, the Frenchman still provides the most tackles per 90 minutes (via FBref).

But in terms of passes completed, the Argentine remains head and shoulders above the Premier League duo with more than 40 extra passes attempted than Rice and Kante (via FBref).

Despite Kante still holding his own among the promising midfield duo, his injury record of late has to be a concern for those at Stamford Bridge as the Blues sat slumped down in eighth spot of the Premier League following Sunday’s draw at Nottingham Forest.