Chelsea have set a huge asking price of £80m for N’Golo Kante amid reports that Antonio Conte is interested in a reunion with the midfielder at Inter Milan.
Inter are keen to strengthen their squad this summer following a promising season in which they finished as runners-up in Italy and reached the Europa League final, the Nerazzurri prepared to invest as they bid to end Juventus’ dominance of Serie A and win a first league title in more than a decade.
According to the Mirror, Conte is prepared to raid his former side and has identified Kante as a key target, the France international having arrived at Stamford Bridge during the Italian’s reign before establishing himself as arguably the world’s best defensive midfielder.
The 29-year-old was named as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year as Chelsea won the Premier League title during Conte’s debut season in west London, though his fortunes have dipped somewhat in recent seasons through a combination of injury problems and playing in a more advanced midfield role.
Despite that dip, however, Frank Lampard is keen for Kante to remain part of his rebuild at Chelsea, with the club having set an asking price of £80m for the player in a bid to ward off potential suitors.
The west London outfit are keen to raise funds after an expensive summer outlay that has included the arrivals of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Malang Sarr, whilst Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz is expected to complete a club-record move to the club in the coming weeks.
Inter have also expressed an interest in signing both Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri as the club eye up a triple raid on the Blues, and both players could potentially be allowed to leave following the arrivals of the aforementioned Werner and Chilwell.
Giroud was linked with a move to Inter in January before impressing over the second half of last season and signing a new one-year deal, but could opt for a new challenge at the San Siro as he bids to maintain his place in the France squad ahead of next summer’s European Championships.