Pochettino to get first Chelsea wish after identifying stars to build team around


Chelsea are set to announce the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager this week, with the former Spurs and PSG boss set to receive an immediate boost with N’Golo Kante signing a new contract.

Pochettino is expected to be announced as manager following weeks of speculation. Having had the chance to watch Chelsea in the meantime, the 51-year-old has been able to assess his future charges and decide where the current players may fit into his team.

Kante has been named this week as part of a five-man shortlist of players whom the Argentine is expected to ask to keep at the club and the Frenchman has provided a boost by hinting at signing a new contract. There had been fears that a lack of Champions League football may have tempted Kante away, with Barcelona, PSG and Bayern Munich all linked to the 31-year-old.

Kante remains one of the more experienced and talented members of Chelsea’s squad, having won the Premier League and Champions League in his time at the club. However, this season’s struggles have coincided with a lack of playing time through injury for the former Leicester man, despite his recent return to fitness.


Yet Kante has suggested he will stay and fight to return Chelsea to the top table, revealing his desire to help the club achieve their goals. Speaking to Sky Sports this week, he said: “For sure. It’s an exciting project for the club.

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“Unfortunately this season hasn’t been to Chelsea’s standards. But everyone wants to go in this way, the way of success and winning titles. I hope this club will again fight in this direction. Let’s see where I will be but I hope that this is a change for the club, that is most important.”

N’Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante has assured fans who might be fearful of his departure. ( Image: (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images))
A core of players are expected to drive Chelsea forwards into a new era after this season’s false start under the ownership of Todd Boehly, with January signing Benoit Badiashile a big part of plans going forward along. Reece James and Ben Chilwell are also considered key to the club’s plans, as is current Brighton loanee Levi Colwill.

There are also players on long-term contracts, with Boehly signings Wesley Fofana, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez all tied to the club for extended periods. However, other Boehly signings Kalidou Koulibaly and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may be among the names who are moved on, while Thiago Silva is said to want to cancel his contract.

Pochettino will need to trim his bloated squad while the club work around possible Financial Fair Play restrictions if they are to spend on further signings, after Boehly’s outlay of more than £600million on new arrivals in the last two transfer windows.