Chelsea’s new owners are evaluating the futures of both N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, 90min understands, with regular conversations taking place over the pair’s expiring contracts.
Kante, 31, and Jorginho, 30, are both in the final 12 months of their contracts at Stamford Bridge and are yet to find agreements over extensions, with the duo both free to discuss free transfers to any overseas sides in January.
Sources have confirmed to 90min that Chelsea remain willing to discuss new contracts with both Kante and Jorginho but those higher up at Stamford Bridge are divided over whether to hand extensions to the pair.
Both are demanding sizeable wages which, as it stands, Chelsea are hesitant to agree to because of both players’ ages. Jorginho turns 31 in December and Kante, already 31, has long struggled with injury problems – he has played just twice all season and is now out for a further three months with a hamstring injury.
Allowing both players to leave on free transfers would comfortably free up the wages needed to pursue top target Declan Rice of West Ham, with the former Blues academy graduate regularly mentioned in these talks over the futures of Kante and Jorginho.
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However, losing both players would leave Chelsea somewhat thin in midfield, with Mateo Kovacic, Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and 18-year-old Carney Chukwuemeka the only other natural midfielders in Graham Potter’s current squad.
Potter’s opinion has been sought and 90min understands the boss would not be against losing either player, although there is an acceptance that replacing Kante and Jorginho would not be an easy task and more than one signing would likely be required.
Another fear for Chelsea is the possible landing spots for the pair. Jorginho has plenty of interest from overseas, with Juventus long-time admirers of the Italian, but Kante has been linked with London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham.
The Blues do not want to see Kante end up at either side and are factoring that into private discussions about his future.