Chelsea’s attempts to sign N’Golo Kante are complicated by interest from China and the efforts of several Leicester players to convince him to stay.
Kante’s £20m release-clause is not prohibitive to Manchester United, Arsenal or Juventus, who are among those monitoring the situation, but Chelsea have shown the greatest willingness to act.
Progress is expected this week now France have completed their Euro 2016 campaign but Chinese club Shanghai SIPG have raised the stakes by indicating they are prepared to pay £35m.
Kante is thought to be undecided on his future, with his team-mates pleading with him to stay for one more year. Although the 25-year-old is keen to join Chelsea, they cannot offer him Champions League football and Leicester hope the lure of continuing last season’s fairytale could be enough to convince him to sign a new deal.
Jamie Vardy turned down a move to Arsenal and the middle ground could be for Kante to renew his contract on improved terms and leave next summer instead.