Danny Mills has urged Chelsea to sell N’Golo Kante to fund a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Manchester City and England full-back claimed the Frenchman has not been at his best for 18 months.
French media outlet Le Parisien claimed during the international break that Kante had fallen out with Frank Lampard after the Chelsea boss refused to let Kante attend a friend’s wedding.
However, the club denies there has been a bust-up labelling the story “total nonsense”, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Rice is a long-term target of Chelsea with Lampard being an admirer of the 21-year-old’s ability to play in defence and midfield.
This site revealed last month that the Blues were set to test the nerve of West Ham with a huge part-exchange bid.
Chelsea recruitment chiefs have been privately encouraged that a deal could be done and Mills has urged them to sell Kante to fund the move.
Asked by Football Insider whether he can see Kante leaving next summer, Mills said “I can and I don’t think it would be the world’s worst business.
“If you let N’golo Kante go and bring in Declan Rice who in six months or a year’s time is likely to be even better than he is now.
“Kante has not played in his preferred position due to injuries and formation changes for a couple of years.
“We haven’t seen the best of N’Golo Kante for 18 months or so.
“If there’s an opportunity to bring in a younger player who is going to have greater longevity and the fees are going to balance each other out then I think it would be a good piece of business.”
Kante has started all six of Chelsea’s Premier League games so far this season.
Since arriving at Stamford Bridge four years ago he has played 176 times for the Blues across all competitions.