Will desperation to keep N'Golo Kante back-fire for Chelsea?
Chelsea have put themselves in a precarious situation. Former manager Antonio Conte was let go after only two seasons in charge to make room for a new beginning. It was rather a belated move that created an uncertain atmosphere around the club. As the transfer deadline approaches, the club is in danger of losing its best players to other top European sides.
From Eden Hazard to his countryman Thibaut Courtois, then Willian, and N'Golo Kante, all have been linked with a departure this summer. The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are all interested in luring them away. Their exit could make things very difficult for the new manager, Maurizio Sarri, in his first season in English football.
The former Napoli boss already has a hard time returning the side back to the top four due to the level of competition from other top six candidates. Losing key players at this stage will do him and the club no good whatsoever.
In a bid to persuade their top stars to stay, the 2017 Premier League champions came up with an idea. According to reports, to make their prized possession, Kante, understand his value to the club, he has been offered a five-year extension on his current contract which runs until 2021.
The new contract will more than double the Frenchman's current wages. He is set to earn a staggering £290,000 a week in the new deal. This will be the highest in the club's history. The two top stars in the team, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas are believed to be earning around £200,000 per week. This is meant to convince other teammates of the club's seriousness to retain key players and challenge for trophies.
Normally, there is nothing wrong with that. But the timing of this offer can create problems for the club in the future as both Hazard and other superstars are keenly watching on...
Assuming the Belgium international, Hazard, ends up not leaving this summer and commits to a new deal, it is likely he will demand more in wages than what has been offered to Kante. Other players will also want to follow suit. This may end up upsetting the club's wage structure.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, their offer has not scared off Paris Saint-Germain at the moment. The French giants are ready to go one better than the Stamford Bridge outfit by offering the hard-working midfielder more than £300,000 a week in wages to return home. Whether Kante gets to stay in England or leave for France, the status quo for Chelsea cannot remain.
There is now the likelihood that some of the club's top players will play hardball with the club during contract negotiations. Chelsea has shown desperation in trying to offer a new five-year deal to a player who still has as much as three years left on his contract just so they can convince him to stay at the bridge.
Another possibility arising from this move is that the other clubs linked with these players could up their offerings to the players as a result. This will make it even more difficult for them to want to stay at Chelsea. In that sense, the move would have back-fired.
It's quite easy for PSG, for instance, to beat Chelsea's offer as they are used to paying astronomical amounts to get the players they want. Don't forget, the club holds the current transfer record for the highest transfer fee and wages paid for a single player.
Chelsea's offer can end up affecting the team negatively.
However, the Blues can count on the relatively short transfer window this term to bail them out. With just days to go until the beginning of the new season, it may prove difficult to complete negotiations and conclude transfers for these players. For any one of these that end up staying, it's a victory for the club.