N'Golo Kante chased by Spanish giants Real Madrid
N’Golo Kanté has reportedly emerged as a prime summer target for La Liga giants Real Madrid.
The Frenchman has caught the eye of the Madrid elite after an impressive season at Leicester City in which he proved vital to the Foxes’ shock Premier League title win.
Kanté’s performances for France have generated even greater interest around the midfield maestro after he successfully cemented himself a starting position in Didier Deschamp’s side.
As such, Madrid are said by AS to be interested in bringing Kanté to the Bernabeu to reinforce the squad. With a busy 2016/17 schedule ahead, the 25-year-old will bring further defensive cover to the team alongside Casemiro - Madrid’s only out-and-out defensive midfielder.
Manager Zinedine Zidane has been open with his praise for the Frenchman, comparing him to Claude Makélélé.
“I see Makélélé mirrored in Kanté when he plays,” Zidane said.
With a reported release clause of €25.5m, Kanté is well within the summer budget likely to be granted to the Madrid manager.
Real Madrid joins a number of other clubs who have expressed interest in the Frenchmen, including the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal.
Seven games before Leicester had secured the Premier League title, manager Claudio Ranieri revealed he would let Kanté go if he wanted to.
"I think he should rest [stay] here, he's working very well," he said.
"But if big teams arrive that will give us a lot of money, maybe we can think about it if he's not happy here and wants to go.
"I don't want sad people here - I want my players to be happy."
The recent surge in interest from the Bernabeu marks an ironic twist in events after the club supposedly passed on the chance to sign the player last summer.
According to reports, Kanté was one among a number of players being watched by the club but was eventually dismissed as he was not deemed a "true class footballer" by the Madrid hierarchy.
Kanté was at Caen at the time but Madrid president Florentino Perez elected to buy German World Cup winner Toni Kroos instead.
Independent News Service