Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed that N'Golo Kante's recent history of injuries will undoubtedly be considered in contract negotiations with the midfielder.
The 31-year-old has just one year left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge, and the Blues are keen to keep him in west London.
However, Kante made only 26 Premier League appearances last season - his second-lowest tally since heading to England in 2015 - and he is currently sidelined with a muscle problem.
Tuchel has admitted that this recent spate of injuries will impact the kind of contract offer that Kante will receive from Chelsea.
When asked if Kante's injury record could be ignored in negotiations, Tuchel replied: "You cannot. You have to consider everything that is on the table and on the table is his potential, on the table is his influence, and his quality.
"But also on the table, of course, is his age, his salary and his injury rate. From there you build a whole picture and try to find a solution."
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The German tactician was then asked if it was possible for Chelsea to challenge for the biggest honours without Kante, to which he replied: "This is a key question and the answer is maybe no – but we try to.
"It’s much more difficult because you see the impact he has, you see the impact in the goals that we concede, the amount of goals we score, the amount of points that we have, the amount of goals he makes. He makes players simply better around him.
"He gives something that is very unique and don't forget, he also installs confidence that you cannot measure. That’s why he is a key player. But for the key players, it is super important to be on the pitch and to have that impact and be in the rhythm.
"You can count the matches that he is missing, but what about the first two, three or four matches where he needs to re-find rhythm? Nobody is counting these matches so maybe in real life it is even more than just the matches he is missing.
"He comes back for the first match from the bench and maybe a second from the bench, and then the third one still a bit struggling with confidence and rhythm. This is basically the story and, yes, we have huge hopes we can turn things around but this was a bad start."