Manchester United want to sign Ngolo Kante as surprise potential partner for Frenkie de Jong: Three questions

Manchester United want to sign Chelsea midfielder Ngolo Kante, a report from The Mirror claims.

Kante is viewed by United as a potential partner for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, rather than as an alternative.

The Guardian report De Jong is a target for United, with Barcelona considering whether to cash in, given their financial constraints.

The case for United to sign De Jong is not clear cut. One of the reasons against a move is the fact a defensive midfielder would still be required.

If United are prepared to invest in two big midfield signings this summer, then it can work. Kante and De Jong could end up as United’s future partnership.

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Manchester United want to sign Ngolo Kante

There are a few questions surrounding United’s potential move for Kante, a player regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation.

Why would Chelsea sell Kante? Chelsea will have new owners this summer and big investment is expected. New midfield additions could see him become surplus to requirements.

This season Kante has only started 19 league games for Chelsea, and he has only got one year remaining on his current contract.

Would United be signing Kante too late? This is a real risk. Even when Manchester United signed Nemanja Matic, he was 28, and it felt like he was brought in too late.

Kante may be able to to a good job, a great job even, for a couple of years, but he is not exactly a long term answer for the club.

On the other hand, even this version of Kante is still a major upgrade on Manchester United’s current defensive midfield options.

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How much would Kante cost? Chelsea paid a bargain £32 million to sign Kante from Leicester and he has been worth every penny to them.

But with his contract expiring in 2023, United may be able to get Kante for less than the fee they paid, perhaps even around £25 million.

Combine this with De Jong, who would cost around £60 million, and United could fix the midfield for around £80-85 million.

This would provide a solid new platform for Erik ten Hag’s new look side, but this drastic renovation could mean other areas of the side end up with more frugal solutions.

United would like to add a new striker, new defender, and also could do with adding new full-backs. If so much money is spent in central midfield, then not as much may be available for other areas.

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