Napoli and Barcelona lie in wait as Chelsea continue Jorginho and N’Golo Kante contract talks

Napoli and Barcelona lie in wait as Chelsea continue Jorginho and N’Golo Kante contract talks

Chelsea’s interest in Enzo Fernandez is not impacting their desire to tie down both Jorginho and N’Golo Kante to new contracts at Stamford Bridge.

The two experienced midfielders are in the final six months of their deals and are exploring their options ahead of next summer, when they will become free agents.

But both Jorginho and Kante are open to staying at Chelsea and remain locked in contract negotiations with the club.

In Jorginho’s case, he has always prioritised staying at Stamford Bridge and has asked for a slight increase in wages, from £120,000-a-week to £150,000-a-week.

The 31-year-old knocked back an initial proposal from Chelsea but remains in open dialogue with senior Blues officials amid interest in him from Napoli and Barcelona.

Should Jorginho leave, Napoli lead the race to sign the Italy international because Barcelona manager Xavi has requested the signing of Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi instead. That is despite Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany’s preference for free transfers.

Kante also ideally wants to stay at Chelsea but he initially knocked back a two-year contract on what he perceived unfavourable terms, amid concern from Chelsea about his injury record.

The 31-year-old is currently one of the highest-paid players in the Chelsea squad on £290,000 a week.

The pair are allowed to talk to foreign clubs ahead of a summer Bosman move. (Getty Images)
The pair are allowed to talk to foreign clubs ahead of a summer Bosman move. (Getty Images)

Chelsea are working to convince him that he will remain an important player when he can prove his fitness.

If Kante does leave, he would prefer not to join another club in England and Barcelona are well-placed to sign him.

Kante is currently injured after hamstring surgery and he is expected to return at the end of February.

After renewal talks with Kante and Jorginho are out of the way, Chelsea will tackle negotiations to keep Mateo Kovacic, whose contract expires in 2024.