Barcelona are closing in on a pre-contract agreement to sign Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, according to reports.
Kante, who was linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer, is out of contract in June, meaning he is able to depart on a free transfer at the end of the season if he can agree a deal with a foreign club in January.
Kante came to the Premier League in 2015 – joining Leicester City from French club Caen – and sensationally helped the Foxes win the Premier League title at odds of 5000/1.
That saw him earn a move to Chelsea a year later where he won a second Premier League title as well as the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, Super Cup and Club World Cup.
He was crowned Premier League Player of the Season after just one campaign with Chelsea and in his second season was named the club’s Player of the Year.
Kante was also named Champions League Midfielder of the Season for 2020-21 as the Blues became European champions under Thomas Tuchel.
The 2018 World Cup winner had been urged to join Arsenal in January by Emmanuel Petit, who played for both the Gunners and Chelsea.
Brad Friedel also wanted Liverpool to attempt to sign Kante on a free transfer.
But the Daily Mail are reporting that a deal with Barcelona is now close, meaning the 31-year-old France international’s time in England may be coming to an end.
Kante, who has registered 262 appearances for Chelsea in total, is considered to be one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation but has struggled massively with injuries over the last 18 months and has barely featured.
If he joins the Catalan club, he will link back up with former Chelsea stars Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso.