Thomas Tuchel unwilling to sell Chelsea ace N’Golo Kante to Manchester United
According to The Athletic (Subscription Required), Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is not willing to part ways with midfielder N’Golo Kante and sell him to a direct Premier League rival, amid transfer interest from Manchester United.
Kante has been a key member of the Chelsea midfield, pulling the strings in the middle of the park alongside Jorginho. The Frenchman has built a reputation for himself in English football for his defensive work rate, running tirelessly throughout the game.
Tuchel and Kante have combined well to bring silverware to Stamford Bridge since the manager took over last season, winning the Champions League, Super Cup, and Club World Cup. Prior to this, the midfielder managed to lift the Premier League, FA Cup, and Europa League with the west London side.
Kante is a crowd favourite and an ever-present face in the Chelsea squad, but his time at the club could potentially soon be coming to an end. The player sees his contract run out in the summer of 2023, and there have been no talks regarding an extension thus far.
World-class influence from Kante
Aside from the France international’s contract situation, Tuchel is also growing concerned about the longevity of his central midfield options. Both Jorginho and Kante have crossed their 30s, and it remains to be seen how much longer either player can deliver for the club at the top level.
Meanwhile, the World Cup winner has attracted the interest of United in the summer, with the Manchester side keen to sign him for new manager Erik ten Hag. However, it will not be easy to convince Tuchel to let the 31-year-old depart, especially to direct Premier League rivals.
ten Hag is expected to come in and change the current mood at Old Trafford, looking to usher in a new era at the club and get them competing with the other big guns for trophies once again. It has been five years since they last lifted a title.
The midfield is an area that the Dutchman will be keen to revitalise, given that a few departures are expected in the summer. Kante’s France teammate Paul Pogba is likely to depart when his contract expires in the coming weeks, while Nemanja Matic has already announced his exit.
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The Chelsea man could come in and plug this hole in the middle of the park for the Red Devils, but that decision could rest on Tuchel. The German considers Kante to be a world-class player and have an influence on the team as other stars like Kylian Mbappe, Kevin de Bruyne, and Mohamed Salah do.
Selling him to a direct PL rival would only dent the Blues’ chances of winning trophies next season, so it will take some convincing to change Tuchel’s mind. It remains to be seen what happens in this transfer saga once the summer transfer window opens and the London side is unwilling to lose their midfielder for free in 2023.