Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has warned that he will not sell N’Golo Kante amid rumours the Frenchman could join Manchester United or Inter Milan. The Blues have spent around £250million this summer and must raise funds if they are to continue bolstering their ranks.
Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is set to become the seventh new arrival at Stamford Bridge over the coming days.
He will join Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and Kai Havertz for the upcoming Premier League campaign.
However, Lampard still wants to bring in one more signing in the shape of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.
West Ham are demanding their London rivals pay £80m for the England international meaning the Blues could have to offload either Kante or Jorginho.
But Lampard has ruled out letting the French World Cup winner leave in a blow to United and Inter’s hopes.
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“I think pretty much every club in the world would want N’Golo Kante,” Lampard told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I have seen those reports as well. He is an incredible player and person and I certainly don’t want to lose him. He’s fundamental in terms of what I’m trying to do.
“We can obviously talk about the attacking players we have but someone like N’Golo and the work he does in midfield… It was a difficult year for him last year because of the injuries.
“He came into the season with an injury and it was a domino effect through the year. It was probably a culmination of four or five years of games, so I’m really excited to have him fit. He looks fresh, he’s a big deal to me.
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“Of course I want to keep N’Golo.”
Lampard faces a difficult dilemma in how he will incorporate the new additions into a squad full of rising talent.
“I do have an idea of what I want to do,” Lampard added.
“It certainly won’t be stepping on the toes of the younger players. I think what the younger players did last season was show their quality. It’s normal as a younger player, you have different challenges and different steps on the ladder.
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“Step one, get in the team and do well, get a lot of praise. Step two if you’re at a club like Chelsea is that you’re going to get competition year-on-year, and can you react to that and it be a positive reaction? I’m not concerned about the young players, they’re going to be a big part of our plans.
“The ones that were there last year will definitely be involved. The one thing I definitely felt as manager was that when I couldn’t bring players in, I couldn’t make changes in how I wanted us to play in terms of personnel.
“It always helps when you’re fresh and you’re new that you can bring in some players and say, ‘This is the way I want to go’. So, I feel like I will have more options now to move forward.”
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