Barça making progress in their pursuit of Chelsea and French midfielder N'Golo Kanté


Barça making progress in their pursuit of Chelsea and French midfielder N'Golo Kanté

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The London Blues player, whose contract is due to run out at the end of this season, is prioritising playing at Camp Nou next.

Barça are making great strides to position themselves in the lead to sign N'Golo Kanté for next season.

The Frenchman has been in contact with the Blaugrana club for weeks and the basis of the agreement is practically closed, depending on how he recovers from his hamstring injury.

The Blaugrana believe that this is a great market opportunity for a key player in the new project.

Kanté contacted Barça last summer but his position was not a priority. The French player wants to leave the Premier League and, in principle, will not accept the renewal with Chelsea so he will be free in June.

Barça have no doubts about his quality and at 31 years of age, he also brings physicality and experience.

Everything has been progressing naturally and the deal could be finalised in January if the player recovers.

The big stumbling block is the hamstring injury for which Kanté had to undergo surgery at the end of October. This forced him out of the World Cup.

Barça want him as long as there are no lingering physical concerns as, due to his play style, the Frenchman needs to be at one hundred per cent to perform well.

Xavi Hernandez likes the option of Kanté providing physicality and experience to an area of the pitch that is dominated by the youngest players in the team.

The Frenchman is a very physical and positional player. Over the years his passing range has also evolved significantly. He can play perfectly in front of the defence and has competed at the highest level in European competitions.

Kanté's profile fits like a glove, but Barça are also clear that although he is a free agent, his salary must be adapted to the economic needs of the club.

Kanté earns a lot of money at Chelsea, something that would not happen at Barcelona as his contract would be capped at a fixed amount plus variables depending on performance and titles. This is the profile of contracts that Barça are now making.

The Blaugrana are also keeping a close eye on his teammate Jorginho, and Gundogan, from Manchester City, both of whom are in a similar situation.

The latter case is a more complicated one for Barça as Gundogan is likely to renew his contract for a year with City after Guardiola's continuity. Or he might decide to return to the Bundesliga.

The Kanté option is the most advanced and a pre-agreement could be reached in January pending physical tests.

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