Barcelona are reportedly closing on a deal to sign Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante as soon as January.
According to reports, the Frenchman has attracted interest from Xavi, who wants to sign him to bolster his midfield next season.
With his current contract at Stamford Bridge expiring at the end of this season, Kante is available for transfer next season. According to Spanish outlet Sport via Sportsmail, the Chelsea midfielder is close to agreeing to transfer to Barcelona.
Kante remains one of the best midfielders in the world with his exceptional work rate and dynamism. However, he has recently suffered a string of injuries and could not join up with the French national team squad for the just concluded Works Cup in Qatar.
Despite his injury niggles, Barca remain interested in his services as they are looking to add more energy and bite in their midfield. In addition, Barca are preparing to lose Frenkie de Jong, who was subject to a bid from Manchester United last summer.
Xavi has Pedri, and Gavi; two youngsters expected to lead the side for the foreseeable future. But Sergio Busquets is undoubtedly close to retirement, while Franck Kessie has not had the influence Xavi expected. So a deal for Kante is seen as a no-brainer, especially as it will come at no financial cost for Barca, who will sign him for free.
However, Chelsea are reportedly offering him a two-year extension at Stamford Bridge, although he is looking for a third year which is not forthcoming.
The midfielder is keen on reaching an agreement as soon as possible.
According to reports, talks with Barcelona have progressed well, with Barca’s director of football, Mateu Alemany, handling discussions directly with the 31-year-old.
However, the Frenchman is not the only option for Xavi. Barca is also monitoring the situations with Leicester’s Youri Tielemans and Kante’s teammate Jorginho, as both players will become free agents this summer.