Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly made Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante their priority summer transfer target as they prepare for the expected departure of veteran Thiago Motta.
French broadcaster Canal+ (h/t TalkSport) reported Kante leads a wishlist of midfield targets that also includes AS Monaco enforcer Fabinho, although there are doubts Chelsea will be willing to sell.
Kante joined the Blues from Leicester City for a reported £30 million in the summer of 2016, and he's taken little time to establish himself as a modest favourite at Stamford Bridge, just as he did at the King Power Stadium.
Nizaar Kinsella of Goal recently emphasised the importance he poses among the Chelsea squad in the buildup to their recent 1-0 defeat against Premier League leaders Manchester City:
Motta, 35, sits as one of the more defensively minded midfielders at the Parc des Princes, although Lassana Diarra, 33, can also play as anchor after joining on an 18-month deal in January.
Kante also holds major appeal in Paris due to the fact he's French, and he would fit seamlessly into the club's profile. However, Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard recently reported he's "not interested" in the switch.
A move to the French capital would mean an almost guaranteed run at the Ligue 1 title and, in turn, an opportunity at European success every season, but Johnson reported Kante doesn't want to return to the French top flight.
While the attacking ranks at Stamford Bridge often shine, it speaks volumes of Kante's prowess as a destroyer and distributor that he still manages to stand out from the crowd, per football writer Kristan Heneage:
PSG's engine-room corps already boasts great creative potential in Marco Verratti, Adrien Rabiot, Javier Pastore and Giovani Lo Celso, but their ranks aren't as well equipped with tougher talents.
There's also an argument that even were Motta not a potential departure when his contract expires this summer, the club's midfield could do with some fresh inspiration.
BT Sport commentator Adam Summerton recently noted Verratti's stagnated form as evidence to suggest as much:
The French powerhouse splurged to recruit Neymar and Kylian Mbappe from Barcelona and Monaco, respectively, but Kante could go a long way to servicing some more dire needs in midfield.