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Kante set to leave Chelsea and agree £172m deal at new club

 midfielder N’Golo Kante is closing in on a move away from Stamford Bridge after being offered £172m to join Saudi club Al Ittihad.

Kante has been a mainstay in the Chelsea team over the past seven seasons, making 269 appearances for the Blues following a £32m move from Leicester City in 2016.

The Frenchman helped Leicester clinch a remarkable title and won back-to-back Premier Leagues after starring in Chelsea’s triumph the following season.

While that would be the last time Kante lifted the Premier League trophy, he got his hands on plenty more silverware while at Stamford Bridge, winning the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup.

Kante has been one of the best midfielders in England for almost a decade but he was unable to make as much of an impact last season, with injuries limiting him to just seven league appearances.

With his Chelsea contract set to expire this summer, Kante has been weighing up his options for several months amid interest from Barcelona and Arsenal.

But Saudi side Al Ittihad have now made the World Cup winner an offer too good to refuse, preparing a two-year contract worth around £86m a year.

The Daily Mail say Kante is close to agreeing terms with Al Ittihad and is set to join the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the Saudi league.

Chelsea were in talks with Kante over a contract extension but conversations stalled last month.

The Blues – soon to be managed by Mauricio Pochettino – are now focusing on signing a new midfielder and have expressed interest in West Ham captain Declan Rice and Brighton star Moises Caicedo.

Kante suggested he would put pen to paper on a new deal with Chelsea after the 2022-23 season finished but a lucrative offer from Saudi has swayed his decision.


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