ARSENAL are reportedly eyeing a shock move for N’Golo Kante, who has just missed Chelsea’s pre-season tour.
The Gunners still see midfield as an area to improve on and the Frenchman is one of the finest players in the world.
According to the Daily Star, Emirates boss Mikel Arteta is seeking a defensive-minded midfielder and rates Kante highly.
The World Cup winner is a crucial man in Chelsea’s squad but he has just 12 months left on his contract and struggled for form last season.
Kante, 31, played 42 times but had spells on the bench amid a knee problem.
Arsenal were close to signing him from Leicester in 2016 only to miss out to Chelsea.
Manchester United have also been linked with Kante in the past, despite Tuchel’s public admiration for the player.
But the German will be without his anchorman for the start of Chelsea’s pre-season tour.
The Blues confirmed Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 26, did not fly to Los Angeles as part of Tuchel’s 29-man squad.
Chelsea said on their official website: “N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will not travel due to their Covid vaccination status.”
It is unclear how many jabs Kante and Loftus-Cheek have had or whether they remain completely unvaccinated.
Travellers must show proof of vaccination to be allowed into the USA.
Only US citizens or those with an exemption are permitted to enter the country if they have not had the jab.
Chelsea flew to LA yesterday for a training camp, before Tuchel’s side take on Mexican outfit Club America in Las Vegas on July 16.
Tuchel and Co will then travel to Charlotte to face MLS side Charlotte FC on July 20, before finishing the trip with a clash against Arsenal in Orlando on July 23.