Transfer news: Liverpool see bargain free summer deal disappear with rivals ‘close’ to sealing agreement
Liverpool are keen to bolster their midfield ranks at the end of the season.
At the end of the season, Liverpool won’t be able to follow the suggestion of former player Glen Johnson by acquiring N’Golo Kante because he is expected to sign a contract extension with Chelsea.
Before renewed negotiations, it was anticipated that the midfielder would become a free agent during the summer.
As seen by his team’s results thus far this season, Jürgen Klopp is eager to strengthen his midfield ranks at the end of the season since he feels weak and lacking in quality there.
Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund and Moises Caicedo of Brighton have also been linked with a move to Anfield, but Johnson had pushed his former team to think about signing Kante when it appeared probable that he would leave Chelsea.
Though The Telegraph report that the 31-year-old is now close to penning a contract extension with the Blues and all parties are confident that an agreement will be reached. Kante is yet to feature under Graham Potter following several injury setbacks but is now back in first-team training and could return in the coming weeks.
Johnson felt that the former Leicester City star was the ideal player to slot into Klopp’s midfield, telling Betfair: “If N’Golo Kanté is available on a free transfer, then that’s something you need to consider seriously.
“The guy wears his heart on his sleeve and he has the energy to perform how Jürgen Klopp expects his players to perform. If Liverpool can sign him on a free then blimey, you need to put your hat in the ring.”
Chelsea are also looking into how they can strengthen their options in the centre of the park, and losing a player of Kante’s quality for free was deemed a poor decision.
The Blues brought in Enzo Fernandez for a club-record fee from Benfica on deadline day in January, whilst also being in the race for Bellingham and Caicedo with Liverpool.
Despite Kante being unattainable for the Reds, they could still find joy in targeting players from Stamford Bridge.
Klopp is a long-term admirer of playmaker Mason Mount, who could be offloaded at the end of the season after contract extension talks with the England international stalled once more recently.
Mount is out of contract in 2024 but the new Chelsea owners are reluctant to allow players to enter the final 12 months of their contracts and have their heads turned by the prospect of bumper deals elsewhere.