N’Golo Kante is growing concerned that he is unlikely to feature in the plans of Frank Lampard, with Chelsea likely to make effort to sign Declan Rice in the January window.
The Frenchman has been a very important Chelsea player following his move to Stamford Bridge from Leicester and played a key role under three successive managers at the club.
Kante hasn’t been as influential for Lampard as he was under previous managers, but he has started all five matches Chelsea have played this campaign, despite the arrival of new signings.
Kante is reported to be well aware of Chelsea’s interest in Rice and believes this could be his last campaign at the club.
According to ESPN, Kante’s perception of his waning standing was crystalised the refusal of the Chelsea boss to sanction his request to attend the wedding ceremony of his best friend.
However, Chelsea have denied the exchange took place but Kante has refused to deny it happened while away on international duty this week.
The France international was forced to miss France win over Croatia with a reported calf strain but he trained with Chelsea’s first team squad on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s game against Southampton.
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Rice, meanwhile, was the only major target Lampard missed out on this summer window after West Ham refused to budge on their £80m valuation of the midfielder.
Lampard is believed to greatly admire Rice’s versatility and will look to make a move when the transfer window reopens if his club are in a position whereby they need to sell to raise funds.