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Chelsea ‘on the lookout’ for Manu Koné

Manu Kone

Chelsea have overhauled their midfield this season, releasing Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater while selling Billy Gilmour to Brighton & Hove Albion and Jorginho to Arsenal in the last two transfer windows.

They responded by spending more than £130m on four central midfielders, bringing in Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa (£16m), Andrey Santos (£11m), Enzo Fernández from Benfica (£107m) and Denis Zakaria from Juventus (£2.6m loan fee) to accompany N’Golo Kanté, Mateo Kovacic, Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount, so it’s one area the Blues shouldn’t need to strengthen.

If reports are to be believed, however, Chelsea still aren’t happy with their options in the engine room. According to Telefoot via Canal Supporters, the West Londoners are ‘on the lookout’ for Manu Koné and could make a move for the Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder this summer.

The 21-year-old joined Gladbach on a four-and-a-half-year deal from Toulouse and has made 53 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals with two assists. He’s been a regular at Borussia-Park, playing in 24 of Gladbach’s 26 games this season, so the Bundesliga outfit would sell him with a heavy heart.

Kone would joint-2nd in the Chelsea squad for tackles made per game (2.7), 4th for successful dribbles made per game (1.9), and 1st for fouls won per game (2.5). The French U21 international averages 46.1 passes per game with 86.8% accuracy, so he’s fairly composed in possession too.

Kone is believed to have a €30m (£26.5m) asking price, so he’s more than affordable for the free-spending club. The 21-year-old would surely be keen on making the switch to a big Premier League club if faced with an offer too, but time will tell if Chelsea make a move.

Kante has spent much of the season injured, making just two league appearances, while Zakaria has spent most of the campaign as an unused substitute, amassing 525 minutes from a possible 3240. Chukwuemeka has started only one league game this season too, so it’s easy to see why Chelsea are on the hunt for a midfielder.

However, the Blues are set to face stiff competition for Kone in the summer as Telefoot add that Manchester United are also showing a keen interest in the player.

Erik ten Hag is expected to continue his rebuild at Old Trafford this summer as he looks to turn Man Utd into title challengers again, and it appears Kone could be viewed an an upgrade to Fred and Scott McTominay.

There is not only interest from the Premier League as the report says Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also tracking Kone, so there could be a fierce battle for his signature this summer.

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