Chelsea's January transfer priority is now clear as Graham Potter confirms N'Golo Kante bad news


Graham Potter confirmed on Friday afternoon that Chelsea will be without the services of N'Golo Kante for another three months because of injury. The 31-year-old midfielder suffered a hamstring problem against Tottenham way back in August in their second Premier League match of the season.

At the time, it looked like an issue that would keep Kante out for a few weeks, but in October it was announced that he would require surgery on the problem. Back then, the club were hopeful the France international would be back in action in February. However, Potter has now conceded that it could be the start of March until we see Kante in a Chelsea shirt once again. Kante has not yet played under Potter since the 47-year-old was appointed Chelsea head coach in October.

That run will go on and now Potter is restricted to six central midfield options until he returns. However, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also injured, although his problem is thought to be much less serious than his teammate's. Conor Gallagher , Denis Zakaria, Jorginho , Carney Chukwuemeka and Mateo Kovacic are also options for Chelsea for the remainder of the season.

It's not as if they are short on numbers in the position, but the performances of the midfielders this season have not been too inspiring. It could allow Chukwuemeka more of a chance for the remainder of the campaign, but Chelsea may well look to bring a fresh face in next month. were told earlier this month that Chelsea retain an interest in Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez. The Blues had a £43million offer for the Mexican turned down over the summer transfer window, but that hasn't put the west Londoners off.

The feeling is mutual. Alvarez remains keen on a move to Stamford Bridge and is aware of the club's presence at matches he's played in this season. Sources have told that the midfield is a priority for Chelsea going into the January transfer window, so a move for Alvarez is definitely something to keep an eye on. Less so for Declan Rice.

The 23-year-old remains Chelsea's No. 1 target in midfield, but a move in January is deemed virtually impossible. West Ham United are desperate to keep hold of Rice still and have offered him a new contract, but the midfielder has dreams of Champions League football.

"I see my friends here [in the England squad] who are playing Champions League and for big trophies," Rice explained. "You only get one career and at the end, you want to look back at what you've won and the biggest games you have played in."

The Hammers are expected to somewhat soften their stance on Rice once the season is over. The former Chelsea academy player will have 12 months remaining on his contract at the London Stadium when June comes around and West Ham may look to get big money for the midfielder while they still can.

 Moises Caicedo is someone who has also been looked at by Chelsea. The Blues had an eye on the 21-year-old midfielder before Potter arrived at the club. Ever since, though, their interest has intensified as Potter worked with Caicedo at Brighton.

Kante's injury isn't the only reason Chelsea are looking at midfielders. The Frenchman has just over six months remaining on his contract and at the moment, he is looking increasingly likely to leave. As is Jorginho, who is not close to reaching an agreement with the Blues at the time of writing.

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