Thomas Tuchel could finally solve Chelsea’s next big contract conundrum, following Paul Pogba’s latest transfer admission.
N’Golo Kante’s contract in west London expires at the end of next season, with reports leaving the Blues in limbo following mixed signals from the 30-year-old’s entourage.
Standard Sport reported that Chelsea is working on a new contract for the midfielder. Meanwhile, Spanish outlet Fichajes claim that the Club World Champions are keen on selling and afraid that a fee will not be recuperated.
However, despite the mixed reports, Kante’s future at Stamford Bridge could hinge on Pogba’s next destination.
The Manchester United midfielder, who has formed an exciting partnership with Chelsea man at the heart of France’s midfield, sees his deal at Old Trafford expire at the end of this season, making him available via a free transfer in the summer.
Pogba is willing to consider proposals from Premier League clubs as he plots the next step of his career, according to The Telegraph.
The 28-year-old has struggled to enjoy sustained form with the Red Devils since joining for a record-breaking £89.3m, contrary to the fruit-bearing displays on the international stage alongside Kante.
In 2015, Pogba rejected a £62m move to Chelsea despite Juventus agreeing on a deal to sell him to the then-Premier League champions, according to Italian newspaper Gazetta Dello Sport (via Daily Mail).
So, should the Blues look to reignite their interest in the Frenchman, not only do Chelsea now have Kante as an incentive, but Didier Deschamps has already shown Tuchel how he can get the best out of the midfield duo with little to no risk deal.
Pogba and Kante have made 39 appearances alongside each other, losing just one of which inside 90 minutes and, rightfully, becoming the ‘dream’ duo who have become integral pieces to their country’s success in recent years.
“Listen, Paul is a complete midfielder,” said Deschamps, speaking ahead of Euro 2020. “He has so many qualities – he can pass vertically, diagonally. All of this is part of his game.”Then, of course, we work on the positioning, but it’s not only about playing good passes, but it’s also about the positioning before the pass.
“His role is quite liberal. He’s not limited in the offensive approach. If there’s a need, he can also go back to win the ball behind, but on the pitch, sometimes he can play a little bit higher or lower.
The France boss then added by hailing Kante as the engine of his squad and somebody who is key to the side’s tactical blueprints, of which optimise Pogba’s skillset.