Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has suggested that it might be time for N'Golo Kante to leave Chelsea. The French midfielder is coming to the end of his current deal, which expires in the summer.
Kante, 31, has been a mainstay for the Blues since arriving from Leicester City for £32 million in 2016. He has made 262 appearances for the club, scoring 13 goals and providing 15 assists.
This season has been one of misfortune for Kante, as he has been plagued by a hamstring injury, featuring just twice. Sagna says that now might be the time for the Frenchman to depart Stamford Bridge. The ex-Manchester City right-back told Midnite:
"N'Golo Kante has not played a lot this season, but he will still have a lot of interest because he's a top player and a top human being. He's given everything for Chelsea; he's won the Premier League and Champions League; it might be time for him to leave."
Nevertheless, reports claim that the Blues man is in talks to extend his stay in west London. Chelsea correspondent Nizaar Kinsella says that negotiations over a new contract are ongoing.
Kante has been linked with a move to Barcelona, with Blaugrana chief Mateu Alemany reportedly identifying the midfielder as a target for next summer. However, it appears that the player has his heart set on remaining at Stamford Bridge.
For now, the France international will concentrate on returning to match fitness with Graham Potter's side, who are desperate for his return to bolster a depleted midfield. Jorginho and Mason Mount are also sidelined due to injuries.
Chelsea manager Potter is not in line for chop if he misses out on top-four finish
Chelsea are struggling in the Premier League and sit tenth in the standings after 17 games. Their latest setback came in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Thursday (January 5) night.
Potter was appointed as Thomas Tuchel's successor at Stamford Bridge in early September. He started with an impressive run of six wins and three draws, but the Blues have come off the boil, winning just once in eight league games since then.
Rumblings of pressure mounting on Potter have ensued, but it appears that his job is safe even if the Blues fail to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. According to the Mirror, Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly will not part with Potter even if a top-four finish is not achieved.
The English coach's appointment was viewed as a long-term plan, as he was handed a five-year contract after leaving Brighton & Hove Albion to take the reins. Boehly may be sticking by his man for now, but Blues fans are eager for the side to turn things around and are not satisfied with Potter's stint thus far.