raham Potter says he won’t get involved in N’Golo Kante’s contract situation as he aims to bring the Frenchman back into the Chelsea fold.
The 31-year-old has less than one year left on his current deal and previous manager Thomas Tuchel stated previously that while discussions had already begun, the midfielder needed to compromise.
Kante has been out of action since mid-August, most recently playing in the fiery draw at Stamford Bridge with Tottenham when he picked up a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the side since then.
Potter was not keen to be drawn into whether he will ask the new Boehly-Clearlake regime to secure a new contract for the French midfielder.
“My focus at the moment is to help rehabilitate N’Golo in a good way so he’s available for us because when he’s on the pitch he’s a huge asset for us,” said Potter.
“The other stuff is between the club and him. But my focus is to help him get fit, get him enjoying his football. Because there are not many players in world football like NG.
“So the quicker he’s back for us the better. So that’s where I’ll leave my focus. It’s hard to replace someone like NG, a world-class player, any team that loses him will suffer a little bit.
“If I look at the options I’ve got, not got a direct replacement so I’ve got to find the right one.”
Potter further explained that Kante isn’t yet ready to return on Wednesday night against AC Milan, despite his increased training load.
Marc Cucurella is back fit after missing the match against Crystal Palace, as is Edouard Mendy, but Jorginho and Kai Havertz could also now miss out through minor problems.
“Eddie [Mendy] is training with the team in the last few days, he will be in the squad which is great news for us, it is really important to have as much competition for places as we can,” he said. “It is great to have him back.
“Jorginho felt a bit of discomfort in the abdominal area against Crystal Palace. He has trained today so we will see how he reacts to that. We will take a decision later today.”