‘Round the club’: Journalist says there's a real feeling that Chelsea's £30m midfielder may surprisingly leave

Dean Jones revealed that some sections of the Chelsea family firmly believe N’Golo Kante will leave the club this year.

Speaking to Simon Phillips, Jones lifted the lead on a potentially shocking turn of events for the minuscule midfielder.

The focus of players departing Stamford Bridge has all been directed at defenders.

Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta could all sign pre-contract agreements with foreign teams this month, as their current deals expire in the summer.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

Thiago Silva recently penned an extension until 2023, easing some of the stresses surrounding Thomas Tuchel’s rear-guard worries.

However, very little attention has been placed on those who are out of contract next June.

Kante’s contract

Kante, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso, Marcus Bettinelli and Ross Barkley all fall under this category.

Whilst Barkley and Bettinelli wouldn’t be great losses, the same cannot be said for the other three.

Especially for the Kante, who remains one of the game’s most formidable adversaries on his day.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The 30-year-old hasn’t been able to enjoy many of these moments in the spotlight recently, however, thanks to a cycle of injuries and now covid concerns to deal with.

He has been part of Chelsea’s fabric for half a decade, but the seams are slowly starting to come undone.

Could we really be seeing the end of Kante’s Stamford Bridge sovereignty?

Jones seems to think so.

“I still think N’Golo Kante might have one more move in him, there are some people round the club who think this might be his last season at Chelsea,” said the transfer expert.

“One of those midfielders is going to leave & Kante seems like the most likely.”

N’Golo-less Chelsea feels strange

It would be a real jolt to the system if Kante bid farewell to the Blues.

Although his best days have arguably come and gone, Chelsea are undoubtedly a fiercer outfit with the Parisian fully fit and firing.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

He was the catalyst for the club’s last Premier League title triumph under Antonio Conte after leaving Leicester City for £30m (BBC) and was more than prevalent during the Champions League run in 2020/21.

Despite Kante’s miniature stature, his presence – or lack of it – will always be felt.

But sometimes all good stories have to come to an end.

We just hope N’Golo’s novel has a few more chapters left to go.   

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.