Arsenal could sign N’Golo Kante from rivals Chelsea, with the World Cup winner keen to stay in London when he leaves the Blues.
The Frenchman moved to Stamford Bridge in 2016 after a title-winning season with Leicester City, managing to repeat the feat a season later under Antonio Conte – and Kante has gone on to win almost everything in the game since, winning an FA Cup and a World Cup. in 2018, the Europa League in 2019 and the Champions League in 2021 before a Club World Cup this year.
But the 31-year-old will see his current contract in west London come to an end next summer, after seven glorious years. While he was a favorite of former owner Roman Abramovich, rumor has it that he won’t be offered a new contract under Todd Boehly.
According to the French outlet foot market (opens in a new tab)which puts Arsenal and Tottenham firmly in charge of signing the Frenchman, with the Gunners historically linked with the signing of Kante.
Current table players were rumored to be interested in Kante over the summer but they apparently came close to trapping the midfielder before he even joined Chelsea. Wage demands were thought to be an issue when the France No.7 left Leicester.
Even before the player’s stay in England, former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said he could have signed Kante.
“The end of my career, [my biggest regret was] N’Golo Kante,” he told Ian Wright during a Q&A on Ladbible’s YouTube page (opens in a new tab).
“Because he played in a club in Paris where one of my best friends was a director and he said to me: ‘please, I have a player, he is incredible, but nobody wants him in France.’
“He [the friend] took it [Kante] in his car and traveled with him from club to club. And finally, a third division club took on N’Golo Kante. It’s an incredible story, we could make a movie with him.
“And that’s something you don’t often find: he wins the ball without making a mistake and immediately he takes the ball forward.”
Arsenal have struck a few deals for Chelsea players of late, signing Willian on a free transfer at the end of his time at Stamford Bridge and landing David Luiz during the Unai Emery era.
Should Kante join, he could well provide cover as a No.6 behind injury-prone Thomas Partey, while his ability as a No.8 could well provide another option as depth alongside Granit Xhaka, Martin Odegaard and Fabio Vieira.
Kante is valued at around £31m per Transfer market (opens in a new tab).
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