Chelsea are preparing to face Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday (February 15) in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg. Graham Potter’s team have drawn their last three games across competitions.
Meanwhile, journalist Simon Phillips has said that the Blues are close to striking a deal to keep N’Golo Kante at the club. Elsewhere, the London giants are yet to make a decision regarding Denis Zakaria, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
On that note, here's a look at the key Chelsea transfer stories as on February 12, 2023:
Chelsea close to N'Golo Kante agreement
The French midfielder’s contract with the London giants expires at the end of the current season. With Jorginho already offloaded, the club are keen to keep Kante at the club.
The Frenchman has struggled with injuries this season but remains a key figure at Stamford Bridge. He has been indispensable for the club in recent seasons. and the Blues are now working to tie him down to a new deal.
Speaking to Give Me Sport, Phillips said that the player’s entourage are now more open to a stay.
“Kante’s contract talks definitely look positive. To start with, in the summer, it was very far away. But it looks like from what I'm hearing that Kante’s people have been more prepared to meet Chelsea's demands. There's no agreement yet. But it has got a lot closer in the last two or three weeks,” said Phillips.
Kante has appeared just twice across competitions this season and is currently nursing a hamstring injury.
Blues yet to make Denis Zakaria decision
Chelsea are yet to come to a decision regarding the future of Denis Zakaria. The Switzerland international arrived at the club on loan from Juventus last summer. The 26-year-old had a shaky start to life at Stamford Bridge before coming into his own. However, he's currently out with a hamstring injury.
In his column for Caught Offside, Romano said that the Blues will make the final call in April or May on whether to keep Zakaria permanently.
“Chelsea have not made any decision. It’s up to Chelsea, as they have a buy option clause close to €30m, but this kind of decision will be made in April/May and not now. Juventus are still waiting for Chelsea to decide; the player would love to stay but it’s up to the club,” wrote Romano.
Zakaria has registered one goal in seven games across competitions for the London giants this season.
Cody Gakpo reveals Chelsea were interested in his signature
Cody Gakpo has said that he had the option to join Chelsea in January. The Dutch forward completed a move to Liverpool from PSV Eindhoven in the winter transfer window.
The Blues invested heavily in the attack last month, and it now appears that they also wanted the 23-year-old.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, as cited by Caught Offside, Gakpo said that he was close to joining Leeds United last summer.
“I nearly went to Leeds in the summer, but Louis van Gaal (Dutch manager at the time) advised me that a change of team before the World Cup might be difficult, so I decided not to go. To be honest, the speculation affected me a little bit because it was the first time it had happened to me. I just had to think ‘forget about it; play your best, and see what happens later on’,” said Gakpo.
“Then when I heard about interest from Liverpool in the winter (before January transfer window), I didn’t think about anything else. There was also Chelsea maybe, but I already had my mind made up.”
Gakpo has appeared six times across competitions for Liverpool this season but is yet to register a goal contribution.