North London club Arsenal are reportedly planning to make a shocking move for Chelsea and France midfielder N’Golo Kante, who missed Chelsea’s pre-season tour because of COVID-19 issues.
The Frenchman is one of the best players in the world, but the Gunners still believe the midfield needs work. The Daily Star reports that Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, is looking for a defensive-minded midfielder and holds Kante in high regard.
The World Cup winner is an integral part of Chelsea’s squad, but his contract expires in just one year, and he had a bad season last year.
Kante, 31, made 42 appearances but missed a couple of games last season with a knee injury.
In 2016, Arsenal came quite close to buying him from Leicester but Chelsea won the race. Despite Tuchel’s open praise for the player, Kante has also been associated with Manchester United in the past. The German manager will be without his anchorman for the beginning of Chelsea’s pre-season trip.
The Blues have announced that Kante and 26-year-old Ruben Loftus-Cheek did not go to Los Angeles with Tuchel’s 29-man team. Chelsea said on their official website: “N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will not travel due to their Covid vaccination status.”
It is unknown how many vaccinations Kante and Loftus-Cheek have received or whether they are still unvaccinated at all. To enter the USA, visitors must present vaccination evidence. If a person has not received the vaccination, they may only enter the country if they are a US citizen or are exempted.
Chelsea arrived in Los Angeles yesterday for a training camp before facing Club America of Mexico on July 16 in Las Vegas. After that, on July 20, Tuchel and his team will head to Charlotte to take on MLS team Charlotte FC before wrapping up their tour on July 23 with a match against Arsenal in Orlando.
The Blues are still interested in signing Leeds United winger Raphinha this summer even though the Brazilian wants to join Barça.
Raphinha is expected to play as a false nine for Thomas Tuchel alongside Manchester City’s winger Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz.
Also, Chelsea owner Todd Boehly wants to sign Man United hitman Cristiano Ronaldo but would do that with Thomas Tuchel approving it.
Note that Chelsea have already lost their striker Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan after he joined them on a loan deal this summer. Lukaku returned to Chelsea last season but had a difficult season which made him leave on loan this summer.