Those Conte/Kanté puns that were all the rage in 2016 might well be getting an encore, as reports in Italy suggest the Inter boss is keen to reunite with the smiling Frenchman at San Siro.
Antonio Conte and Inter are already planning for next season after their Serie A title challenge collapsed under the weight of itself before lockdown. Defeats to Lazio and Juventus wrote them off before the break, and having dropped seven points in the six games since, second place is the best they can realistically hope for.
They still have the Europa League round of 16 to contest in August as a one-off tie with Getafe looms, but according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the fixation for the Nerazzurri is on returning stronger to challenge for the title next term.
Conte is said to have asked the Inter board to pull out all the stops in order to bring in N’Golo Kante, whom he signed for Chelsea in 2016, and went on to be the catalyst for their Premier League title win.
It’s claimed that Kanté is ‘no longer untouchable’ at Stamford Bridge having missed out on the starting XI in their last two matches, and with the Blues looking to raise funds for further additions, he is one substantially valuable asset who could be sacrificed.
This squares with 90min‘s information from April that Chelsea are prepared to cash in on Kanté this summer rather than keeping hold of the 29-year-old and risking his value diminish further as he enters his 30s. Real Madrid and PSG were the two clubs then interested, but it sounds as if Inter have now joined the midfielder’s admirers.
Also targeted by Conte are Kanté’s Chelsea team-mate Emerson Palmieri, who hasn’t been seen in the Premier League since January, as well as Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal.
Inter wanted the latter in January but were reportedly unwilling to pay his €20m asking price. He has now entered the final year of his deal, however, and Barcelona’s financial struggles could see the 33-year-old leave for a lower price.
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