Demola Ojo with agency reports
Chelsea have signed N’Golo Kante from Leicester City on a five-year deal reported to be worth around £30 million, both clubs have announced. Kante, 25, becomes Chelsea’s second signing of the summer following the arrival of Michy Batshuayi from Marseille and arrives at Stamford Bridge just 12 months after joining Leicester from Caen.
Chelsea saw off reported competition from Juventus, Arsenal and Shanghai SIPG to make Kante second signing of the summer transfer window, after the acquisition of Belgium international striker Michy Batshuayi for a fee of £33m at the start of JulyKante established a reputation as one of the most coveted midfielders in Europe after playing a key role in Leicester’s stunning Premier League title triumph last season, and breaking into Didier Deschamps’ France squad for Euro 2016 in the process.
“I am so happy to have signed for one of the biggest clubs in Europe. It’s a dream come true for me,” Kante told the official site.”The opportunity to work with Antonio Conte, a brilliant coach, and some of the best players in the world was simply too good to turn down.
“My first season in English football was very special and now I hope to go on to achieve even more during my time as a Chelsea player. I am looking forward to meeting up with my new teammates and helping the club achieve a lot of success.” Conte prioritised the signing of a high-energy midfielder this summer, and Chelsea stepped up their interest in Kante after their pursuit of Radja Nainggolan was ended by the Belgian’s reluctance to leave Roma.
The France international is unlikely to be the Blues’ final signing of the summer, with Antonio Conte saying during the week that he is hoping to sign “one, two or three players.”
The Italian said: “We are talking with the club and we know that this team needs to reinforce. I am sure that in the coming days we can reach our target to reinforce the team, to go closer to the other teams.
“In the coming days we can buy one, two or three players, I don’t know. But players who can reinforce us for the season. It will be very tough.”
Kante was a revelation during his maiden season in the Premier League as his energetic, combative performances in the middle of the park were key to Leicester’s surprise title success. He was named on the six-man shortlist for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award won by Foxes teammate Riyad Mahrez.