Incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is reportedly keen to make Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante his first signing at the helm.
The 31-year-old has again been a vital player for the Blues during the 2021-22 campaign, featuring on 40 occasions in all competitions, contributing two goals and five assists in the process.
Kante’s current deal at Stamford Bridge is due to expire next June, though, and there has been speculation surrounding the France international’s future in recent weeks.
According to The Mirror, Ten Hag has identified the midfielder as a leading transfer target, with the Red Devils confident that they can convince Chelsea to sell him in the upcoming market.
The report claimed that the Dutchman feels that Kante ‘has the ability, experience and hunger’ to help the younger players at the club.
Chelsea would allegedly be open to allowing the Frenchman to leave this summer, as the Blues prepare to overhaul their midfield once their takeover has been completed.
West Ham United’s Declan Rice also continues to be linked with a move to Old Trafford, but the England international is likely to be priced out of a switch to the 20-time English champions.
Meanwhile, a lack of Champions League football next season could make it difficult for them to convince Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong to make the move to the club.
Kante has contributed two goals and four assists in 24 Premier League appearances this season, but he has struggled with injury problems in 2021-22, missing four Champions League games this term.
In total, he has represented Chelsea on 258 occasions since arriving from Leicester City in 2016, contributing 13 goals and 15 assists in the process.
Kante won the Premier League with Leicester City before moving to the Blues, where he has lifted the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.
Man United is preparing to overhaul their midfield during this summer’s transfer window, as Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic are both set to leave the club on free transfers.
Donny van de Beek could be given the chance to kickstart his Man United career under Ten Hag, who had the Dutchman at Ajax, but the team have struggled in the middle this term.
Ralf Rangnick’s side are currently battling West Ham United for sixth spot in the Premier League table, which would secure a spot in the group stage of next season’s Europa League.
The Red Devils will finish their 2021-22 campaign away to Crystal Palace next weekend, and they might need to pick up a positive result to hold off pressure from West Ham to claim sixth.