Thursday 23 November 2017

Arsenal set for £60m double raid on champions Leicester City - report

Kante lifts the Premier League trophy
Kante lifts the Premier League trophy

Jack de Menezes

Arsenal are reported to be in talks with two of Leicester City’s Premier League title-winning side in a bid to bolster their squad for next season, with both N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez subject of intense interest from the Gunners.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has already admitted that the club’s transfer plans for next season are already underway, and the 66-year-old Frenchman will need to strengthen his midfield given that Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini will all depart at the end of the season when their contracts expire.

Wenger has claimed that he considered signing Mahrez from Le Havre when the Algeria international was playing in the French second division, while Kante has been linked with the club given he could be the answer to their midfield conundrum that has plagued Arsenal since Patrick Vieira’s departure in 2005.

According the France Football, Arsenal have already enquired about the availability of both players and will offer the newly-crowned Premier League champions up to £60m for the pair – with Mahrez set to cost £40m while Kante is valued at around half the price.

Kante’s excellent season for Leicester has seen him break into the France squad ahead of the 2016 European Championships next month, having been given run-outs in the international friendlies against the Netherlands and Russia in March, scoring a goal against the latter.

The 25-year-old has only two caps for his country, but he proved integral to the Foxes’s Premier League title success and has been urged to stay at the club by manager Claudio Ranieri despite the interest coming from the Emirates.

Mahrez has also shone this season, having been named the PFA Player of the Year at the end of April. The 25-year-old has scored 17 times in the league this season, backing up striker Jamie Vardy’s haul of 24, while he has laid on 11 assists for his teammates having emerged as Leicester’s playmaking midfielder.

Ranieri does not want to lose any of his players during the summer, though he did stress that any player that does not want to be at the King Power Stadium should leave because he doesn’t want those type of players among his squad.

(© Independent News Service)

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