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Christian Falk says Manu Kone could join Chelsea

Manu Kone

Chelsea aren’t short of midfielders, so it’s intriguing that Christian Falk says the Blues could be signing Kouadio ‘Manu’ Kone this summer. Graham Potter has N’Golo Kante, Denis Zakaria, Enzo Fernández, Mateo Kovacic and Conor Gallagher in the engine room, but reports suggest another player might be on their radar.

Kone is a regular for Borussia Monchengladbach but has an uncertain future due to the increased interest from clubs in Europe. Paris Saint-Germain are one of many sides reportedly keen, but Falk says on his Caught Offside Substack column that the 21-year-old is ‘fascinated’ by Chelsea.

He writes: “Manu Koné is a player every league has an eye on, so that’s why they’ve come up with this price-tag (£26.6m). Kone was a big fan of Didier Drogba, which explains his fascination with (Chelsea). He’s interested in England.”

Kone joined Gladbach from Toulouse in 2021 and has gone on to make 51 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals with two assists. The French U21 international has two-and-a-half years left on his deal at Borussia-Park and is a player Gladbach would prefer to keep, but he’s expected to leave due to the interest from overseas.

Kante has an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge after making only two Premier League appearances this season due to a long-term hamstring injury. He’s out of contract in the coming months too. Zakaria has made just five league appearances, spending most of the campaign out with injury or as an unused substitute.

Gallagher has played in 21 of 24 league outings but has only started 10 times as he doesn’t have the full faith of his manager. Then there’s Kovacic who has started eight league games from a possible 24 due to fitness woes, so Chelsea boss Potter doesn’t have many readily-available midfielders despite the abundance of depth.

Kone has made 21 Bundesliga appearances this campaign, scoring one goal with one assist. The 21-year-old averages 2.7 tackles per game and 1.0 interceptions per game while making 1.9 successful dribbles per game and completing 86.7% of 47.2 passes attempted per game, so it’s easy to see why Chelsea might want him.

Whether the Blues make an official move for Kone remains to be seen, as Falk made it clear that there is no ‘concrete interest’. But it does appear the midfielder would be keen to make the switch and he wouldn’t break the bank at £26.6m either.

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