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Chelsea, Arsenal battle over £20m Leicester City and Borussia Dortmund midfielders — reports

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Leicester City's N'Golo Kante and Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan have very few things in common in terms of their actual roles and playing styles on the pitch, but when it comes to transfer rumors, they could almost pass for each other.  So we'll talk about them together.

This way, I only have to mention once that these rumors, which have gotten many excited over the past 24 hours are sourced from The Sun (with Tancredi Palmeri an added warning bell on the Kante rumor), involve transfer fees seemingly too good to be true, and appear to be working with several assumptions too good or convenient to be true.  Basically, there are tons of red flags around both stories.  Could there be a chance that Chelsea sign either Kante or Mkhitaryan?  Sure.  Is either likely?  I'd be very surprised.

Kante's story hinges on a supposed £20m buyout clause in his contract, which may have seemed outrageous at the time of signing but now surely represents a bargain.  Arsenal are all set to poach one of Leicester's key men already in Vardy, now they're battling it out with Chelsea for Kante as well.  Might as well throw in Riyad Mahrez at this point, right, Arsene?  Kante has admirers outside of England, too, so if there is truly a bidding war for his services, with multiple teams paying the buyout clause, Champions League-less Chelsea would not be anywhere near the top of the list unfortunately.

For Mkhitaryan, the £20m sounds equally low, but with his contract set to expire next summer, there could be a chance to strike a bargain for his services.  He supposedly rejected new and improved terms from BVB recently, so who knows what his strategy and long-term gameplan is.  It's not like Dortmund haven't proven themselves capable of taking a loss on players and letting them leave on free transfers instead.  Regardless, Chelsea are apparently already losing this battle, with the assist-machine preferring the Gunners rather than the Blues.  Arsenal sure have been busy already!

So, there we have it.  Two top class midfielders for £20m each, one attacking, one defending.  I'm not sure this would be possible even in Football Manager, let alone in real life.

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