Friday 30 September 2016

Leicester's N'Golo Kante set to snub Arsenal and Man United to play under Antonio Conte

Matt Law

Published 01/07/2016 | 14:27

N'Golo Kante
N'Golo Kante

N’Golo Kante is poised to turn down a new contract at Leicester City and favours a move to Chelsea over his numerous summer options.

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Midfielder Kante is emerging as one of Chelsea’s top targets after the Blues failed with two bids for Roma’s Radja Nainggolan.

Following his superb season in the Premier League and at Euro 2016 for hosts France, Leicester have offered Kante a new £100,000-a-week deal to stay with the champions.

But Kante is currently siding towards leaving the King Power Stadium, with Chelsea, Juventus, Manchester United and Arsenal battling for his signature.

Of the four clubs, Kante is believed to fancy the opportunity of working with Antonio Conte at Chelsea the most but he has not yet ruled out the possibility of going elsewhere.

Conte will start work as Chelsea’s new head coach immediately after the Euros and wants a midfielder who can get all over the pitch, which makes 25-year-old Kante the perfect option.

Kante has a £20million release clause in his Leicester contract, although Chelsea may yet have to pay over that figure to land him.

Despite the fact £20m triggers the clause, the terms of the agreement are believed to state that Leicester are only required to accept the highest bid over that figure.

Chelsea will, therefore, want to avoid sparking an auction which results in them paying well in excess of the release fee. It is for this reason Arsenal have been reluctant to formalise their interest with a bid.

Juve are likely to provide the strongest competition to Chelsea for Kante, but the player is expected to choose remaining in the Premier League over moving to Italy if it comes down to a straight choice.

Other than Kante, Chelsea are looking at Nainggolan’s Belgium team-mate Axel Witsel but it is the Frenchman who the club will first pursue.

Having agreed a £33m fee with Marseille for Michy Batshauyi, who has passed initial medical tests and will earn around £110,000-a-week at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea confirmed that Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao will leave the club now their loan deals have expired.

With Pato and Falcao going, Loic Remy expected to leave and Atletico Madrid attempting to re-sign Diego Costa, Chelsea still want to land Spain striker Alvaro Morata.

Morata has re-joined Real Madrid, but the Spanish club are willing to immediately sell him on for £50m. Chelsea have already held talks over the 23-year-old, who owner Roman Abramovich watched personally at Euro 2016.

Chelsea are determined to improve on the transfer business that saw the club sign both Pato and Falcao on loan.

The pair started just two Premier League games and scored two goals between them. Other than Pato and Falcao, Chelsea have confirmed the departure of goalkeeper Marco Amelia.

With Asmir Begovic also likely to leave, the Blues are tracking AC Milan veteran Diego Lopez after missing out on Steve Mandanda to Crystal Palace. Palace were able to offer Mandanda first-team football, while Chelsea are looking for a deputy to Thibaut Courtois.

Telegraph.co.uk

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