Arsenal enquired about the availability of Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante before they signed Jorginho in January, it has been revealed.
The Gunners had a frustrating winter transfer window after missing out on Mykaylo Mudryk, who joined Chelsea on deadline day in a huge twist.
Mikel Arteta also saw two bids rejected for Brighton centre-mid Moises Caicedo as he looked to provide support for the likes of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in the middle of the park.
However, Arsenal eventually sealed a £12m deal for Jorginho, who has featured nine times under Arteta since his arrival.
But, the Spanish coach reportedly would’ve preferred to bring in one of his teammates – Kante – who has undoubtedly been one of Chelsea’s best and most important players over the last few years.
In a recent interview with French outlet Le Parisien, Kante’s entourage discussed the 32-year-old’s future, with his current deal at Stamford Bridge set to expire at the end of the season.
“N’Golo would like to continue his career in London, where he has his habits.
“He [would’ve] liked working with Antonio Conte, but he has been sacked by Tottenham.
“Arsenal also made an enquiry… I think he will extend his deal at Chelsea before going to the Middle-East in two or three years.”
If this account is to be believed, it seems Kante is keen to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge, but if not, he could potentially look to join another London club this summer.
Since joining Chelsea from Leicester in 2016, the Frenchman has played 264 times across all competitions, scoring 13 goals and making 15 assists in the process.
Kante has played a key role in the Blues’ recent success, too, helping them to win one Premier League title, an FA Cup, a Europa League, a Champions League and a Club World Cup.
With that in mind, he could help bring a wealth of experience to the Arsenal dressing room if Arteta goes in for him again, and Chelsea decide against offering him a new deal.
Admittedly, though, Kante has struggled considerably with injuries this season. Indeed, after picking up a hamstring injury in August, it took the midfielder until earlier this month to finally make his return.
His absence has clearly had a very detrimental affect on Chelsea – with the Premier League giants currently sitting in a disappointing 11th place in the table.
But, a fully fit Kante could still be a major asset to the Blues next season, if they do extend his stay. If they don’t, it will be interesting to see if Arsenal go in for him again this summer.