Saudi Clubs Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr Ready to Lure N’Golo Kante with Mega £86m Contract
Kante’s Chelsea Future Mired in Uncertainty
It appears that N’Golo Kante’s tenure at Stamford Bridge is nearing a twilight phase as the Chelsea star’s future takes a turn for the uncertain. The France international, a linchpin of Chelsea’s midfield since joining in 2016, is rumoured to be on the radar of Saudi Arabian clubs Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr.
According to the Daily Mail, there has been a snag in contract extension talks with Chelsea, prompting speculation about the West London club’s willingness to retain the seasoned player. Despite his interest in staying, Kante’s failure to secure an extended stay at Chelsea has piqued the interest of potential suitors in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabian Sides on Tenterhooks
Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr, reportedly, are in a race to secure Kante’s services. Both clubs are allegedly ready to offer the 32-year-old central midfielder an impressive £86m contract, inclusive of image rights and commercial deals.
This story gains credence from Al-Ittihad’s previous acquisition of Karim Benzema in a £258m deal that saw the Ballon d’Or winner depart Real Madrid after an illustrious 14-year stint. Could this suggest an impending reunion between French teammates Kante and Benzema in Saudi Arabia?
Chelsea’s Upcoming Season under Scrutiny
Chelsea’s intentions for the upcoming season remain an enigma, especially in the context of their recent investment in new talent. Following the £600m investment spree since Todd Boehly’s takeover, Chelsea now boasts a sizable player roster nearing 30. However, this surplus has led to conjecture about the possible departure of several stars, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Edouard Mendy, Mateo Kovacic, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Cesar Azpilicueta among those speculated to exit.
The potential departure of Kante could deal a significant blow to Chelsea’s midfield lineup, particularly in the deeper role that he often commands. Furthermore, with Kovacic’s speculated shift to Manchester City, Chelsea might find itself scouting for new talent to fill these gaps.
Speculations Swirl Around Future Deals
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano lends credibility to this story, tweeting: “‘Saudi emissaries, in London to present an official proposal to N’Golo Kante. Salary bid could reach £86m (€100m) inclusive of the image rights & commercial deals. Al Ittihad and Al Nassr, on it. Kante always gave priority to new deal at Chelsea — it was close in March.”
With the advent of international stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr and potential moves for players like Lionel Messi, Saudi Arabian football appears poised for a sensational summer.
However, the fate of N’Golo Kante, Chelsea’s stalwart midfielder who clinched back-to-back Premier League titles with Leicester and Chelsea, hangs in the balance. The sands of time and contract negotiations will determine if Saudi Arabia will be his next destination.