N’Golo Kante is on the verge of signing a new deal at Chelsea as he nears a return from his lengthy injury, according to reports.
Chelsea news, exclusives and analysis
The 31-year-old midfielder’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the season and he had been linked with a move to Barcelona on a free transfer.
Kante was also wanted by Arsenal in the last summer transfer window but now looks set to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge after joining the Blues in 2016, according to The Times, who also report that he is set to return in March.
He has been ruled out of action since August with a hamstring problem which required surgery – featuring just twice for the west London club this season.
Kante first came to the Premier League in 2015 – joining Leicester City from French club Caen – and sensationally helped the Foxes win the Premier League title at odds of 5000/1.
That saw him earn a move to Chelsea a year later where he has won a second Premier League title as well as the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, Super Cup and Club World Cup.
He was crowned Premier League Player of the Season after just one campaign with Chelsea and in his second season was named the club’s Player of the Year.
Kante was also named Champions League Midfielder of the Season for 2020-21 as the Blues became European champions under Thomas Tuchel.
The 2018 World Cup winner had been urged to join Arsenal in January by Emmanuel Petit before the Gunners brought in Jorginho instead.
Brad Friedel also wanted Liverpool to attempt to sign Kante on a free transfer while there was interest from Saudi club Al–Nassr – Cristiano Ronaldo’s team.
Kante, who has registered 262 appearances for Chelsea in total, is considered to be one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation.
MORE : Callum Hudson-Odoi reveals lack of Chelsea contact as Arsenal consider summer move
MORE : Chelsea suffer setback in plan to loan out Andrey Santos to Brazilian club
January transfer window – FAQs