Chelsea and Barcelona swap deal for Coutinho may face difficulties as Kante expresses his views with Real Madrid in race
Kante missed 20 out of 42 games for Chelsea this season due to a number of injuries to his hamstring, knee and ankle. His long-term fitness concerns showed Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho linking up a good partnership in his absence. Also, Billy Gilmour’s emergence and Loftus-Cheek’s return from injury provide Frank Lampard ample options with Barkley and Mount already featuring.
The Blues Gaffer did not yet send any such signal towards his first-team squad whether or not they will be surplus to requirements in the coming season. Lampard has still created a competitive training environment until the halt of the coronavirus-hit campaign.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reported that Barcelona are exploring the possible chances of bringing Kante to the Nou Camp. However, the Frenchman is eager to stay put at Stamford Bridge until he is forced out. But there are rumors over a swap deal with Barcelona that would see Coutinho go in the opposite direction.
Barca face Real competition for the Frenchman
Coutinho’s desire to move to Chelsea has generated a subtle chance for Barcelona to try and seal the signature of Kante. The box-to-box midfielder has admirers at Camp Nou who are looking to add an engine in midfield. It is so because both Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal potentially departing in the summer.
But Barcelona will face tough competition from arch-rivals Real Madrid for the World Cup winner’s services. Links between Kante and Real date back to earlier this season. It was then claimed the midfielder had ‘lost faith’ in Chelsea’s ability to challenge for the Premier League title. Also, that speculation set Kante’s dreams of wearing the white’ of Real Madrid.
All these rumors have heated up a notch higher in the past few weeks. Diario Madridista claims Zinedine Zidane is desperate to bring his countryman to the Spanish capital when the summer window opens.
However, the same journal reports Chelsea to have responded over the growing interest in the player with a mammoth asking price in between €80m and €90m. This may be a strategical move from the Blues so that asking price for the 29-year-old would deter Real from making a move.