N'Golo Kante

Chelsea could look to exploit three potential swap deal opportunities in the January transfer window, with N’Golo Kante edging towards the Stamford Bridge exit door.

Inter Milan and Juventus have both been credited with interest in the French midfielder, who has been kept out with injury for most of the current campaign.

Time appears to be ticking down on Kante’s stint at Chelsea, with his contract now entering its final six months. Although the 31-year-old has been a terrific servant for the Blues, an injury-hit couple of years have reduced the club’s incentive to offer him a new deal.

Not least because he is one of their highest earners, having put pen to paper on a big-money deal two years after signing from Leicester in 2016. With no new contract in sight, La Repubblica claim that Juve and Inter are leading the charge for his signature ahead of the January transfer window.

Foreign clubs are permitted to come to a pre-contract arrangement with the player from January 1, but either of the Italian duo may want to beat the rush by paying a fee to snap up Kante six months ahead of schedule.

Or, if Chelsea are keen to thrash out a mutually beneficial arrangement, they could look to involve Kante in one of three swap proposals. The Blues may have a vested interest in thrashing out a deal with Juve due to reported interest in Adrien Rabiot.

The 27-year-old held talks with Manchester United during the summer but his long-awaited move to the Premier League never materialised. As a fellow midfielder, replacing Kante with Rabiot could be an attractive proposition for Chelsea owner Todd Boehly.

But, on paper at least, Inter have even more to offer with two Blues targets on their books. The first, Milan Skriniar, has stalled over signing a new contract at the San Siro with no less than six Premier League heavyweights, including Chelsea, allegedly waiting to pounce on January 1.

Like Kante, Skriniar only has a few months remaining on his current deal so Inter may be willing to listen to proposals that give them something in return, such as Kante, rather than risk losing him for free next summer. Another Inter star that Chelsea may look to include is flying wing-back Denzel Dumfries.

Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta provide solid cover on the right-hand side but the latter is now in his mid-thirties, which could prompt manager Graham Potter to begin planning for the future.

At 6ft 2in, Dumfries has the stature to feature across the back line but he has made his name as a high-flying full-back with PSV Eindhoven and Inter. The Nerazzurri may yet be open to including him in a prospective switch for Kante in January, unless a string of stellar performances for the Netherlands in Qatar make him even more valuable.


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