Paris Saint-Germain could revisit their interest in N'Golo Kante next summer, with speculation from France suggesting that sporting director Antero Henrique is pondering Chelsea's influential Ballon d'Or nominee as a long-term replacement for ageing midfield stalwart Thiago Motta.
Le Parisien reports that PSG remain on the lookout for a new midfielder following the respective departures of Blaise Matuidi and Grzegorz Krychowiak and with 35-year-old vice-captain Motta's current contract due to expire in June 2018.
Although evidently still eager to address the issue in January after striking out in pursuit of Fabinho and Danilo Pereira, Henrique is believed to be aware that better deals typically become available during the summer.
Kante appears to top his wishlist in that regard, although it is said that the tireless Frenchman has seen his value double or potentially even triple in the 15 months since he left Leicester City for Chelsea in a €36m (£32.1m, $42.5m) deal.
That could catapult his current value beyond the £90m mark and it remains to be seen how much PSG will be committed to spending moving forward after a summer in which they shattered the world transfer record to sign Neymar from Barcelona for €222m.
They also secured the services of teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe from AS Monaco on an initial season-long loan that includes the option to make the deal permanent next year at a cost of €180m. Uefa opened a formal Financial Fair Play investigation into PSG in September, although the club's defiant and "surprised" response highlighted the fact that, if necessary, they have a number of "high value" players under contract that could be sold to balance the books.
Matuidi and Serge Aurier were among the names to depart after Neymar's arrival, while it has since been suggested that the likes of Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore, Lucas Moura, Julian Draxler, Hatem Ben Arfa and Thiago Silva were also up for sale.
PSG initially tried to sign Kante during his time at Leicester, only for the former Caen midfielder to opt for Chelsea after positive discussions with manager Antonio Conte and technical director Michael Emenalo. He recently claimed to have no regrets over that particular snub.
"When I was in Leicester, I had opportunities, but my priority was to stay in the Premier League," he told Le10 Sport. "When Chelsea contacted me, I spoke with the coach and the feeling was good between us."
Chelsea will be extremely unlikely to want to part with a player who claimed a glut of individual honours - including the prestigious PFA Player of the Year award - after becoming only the second man ever to win back-to-back Premier League titles with two different clubs. It is also unclear if Kante might change his mind regarding a potential return to France.
The Paris native has featured in all 11 matches across all competitions for Conte's side so far this season, although could now be set for a three-week spell on the sidelines after suffering a suspected thigh tear while on international duty for Les Bleus during their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia.