Having made their goal-producing glamour signings, Paris Saint-Germain will eventually need to round out their team if they hope to have sustained Champions League success.
N’Golo Kante would be a delicious target, and Chelsea must be ready to fight off the new big spenders.
Kante’s quiet, ego-free personality is another attractor to Paris, in light of the Neymar – Edinson Cavani dispute. PSG cannot afford more drama among its top players, and Kante is as drama-free as they come.
Paris Saint-Germain are building their team from front-to-back. That approach brings a lot of goals and a lot of panache, as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe show. However, PSG will need more than talented goal scorers to become perennial challengers for the Champions League title.
They will need a dynamic but sturdy midfield presence, a modern box-to-box midfielder. Someone who can play every game, tackle fearlessly and has a record of success. The type of player who can allow all but the centre-backs to play forward on offence, secure that he has the discipline and ability to protect the midfield. If he happens to be a Frenchman, so much the better.
In short, they will need someone like N’Golo Kante. And with their money, they will try to pry him away from Chelsea.
The Daily Mail picks up a rumour from The Mirror, so take all the usual caveats to an exponent of your choice. They report that PSG will offer Chelsea £90 million for Kante next summer. That figure could go up based on Kante’s and France’s performance in the World Cup.
This rumour would be more plausible coming from different sources, but on its face it is a likely proposition. Paris Saint-Germain need defenders and defensively-oriented central midfielders.
They have a troublesome amount of talent up front (who is on penalty kick duty these days?) and in attacking midfield. But any team able to break PSG’s press can quickly threaten their net. Such teams will stand between PSG’s riches and the Champions League trophy.
Chelsea are used to playing transfer market defence for stars like Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois. Players like Cesar Azpilicueta and N’Golo Kante are just as valuable and essential to an ambitious team chasing trophies across several competitions. Clubs with more transfer savvy than Chelsea know this, and the Blues must be ready to protect their less flashy stars.
It would be a new low for Chelsea to be caught flat-footed by a transfer swoop for N’Golo Kante. They cannot afford to take him or his loyalty for granted, as they have done with players in the past. £90 million nearly doubles what they received for David Luiz from… Paris Saint-Germain. That amount, though, would not buy his replacement because he has no one-for-one replacement anywhere in the sport.