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Al-Ittihad on brink of signing Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante?

Al-Ittihad on brink of signing Chelsea midfielder Kante?
© Reuters
N'Golo Kante is reportedly on the brink of ending his seven-year association with Chelsea to sign for Al-Ittihad.

N'Golo Kante has reportedly decided to leave Chelsea in order to sign for Al-Ittihad on a free transfer.

Throughout the most recent campaign, there has been much speculation regarding Kante's future at a time when he spent over six months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

Despite the prolonged absence of the 2018 World Cup winner, Chelsea have put forward numerous offers to the France international, with the latest terms said to have been acceptable by Kante and his representatives.

However, although there were positive signs regarding a formal announcement in May, no confirmation arrived leading to a period of uncertainty for both club and player.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano on Twitter, Kante is now on the brink of signing a lucrative deal with Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad.

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema celebrates scoring against Athletic Bilbao on June 4, 2023© Reuters

The report has emerged on the same day that the club have officially revealed that they have signed Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema.

Kante has allegedly agreed to a deal worth €100m (£86m) per year and is in line to pen a contract until 2025, 12 months fewer than his compatriot.

Directors of Al-Ittihad are said to have travelled to London to prepare the necessary documents and finalise the deal with Kante.

If a transfer is confirmed in due course, the 32-year-old would have concluded his legendary stint with the West Londoners by making just nine appearances in 2022-23.

N'Golo Kante in action for Chelsea on August 14, 2022© Reuters

All but two of those outings came during the final six weeks of the campaign before his season was prematurely brought to an end courtesy of a groin injury.

Nevertheless, Kante will depart Stamford Bridge having contributed 13 goals and 16 assists during his 269 games, as well as playing a key role in some of the club's greatest moments.

In his first season with the club in 2016-17, Kante starred as Chelsea won the Premier League title, while he was named Man of the Match when Chelsea beat Manchester City in the 2021 Champions League final.

From a financial perspective, co-owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital may feel that Chelsea will benefit from Kante's exit as they bid to fulfil FFP requirements over the coming months.

That said, Chelsea are losing another midfielder at a time when Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount are all being linked with transfers elsewhere.

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