Should he stay or should he go?
Fresh reports claim that Chelsea is closing in on signing Leicester City’s central midfielder N'Golo Kante, with the Daily Mail saying the Blues are confident in sealing a $37 million move as clubs line up to trigger his release clause.
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The French international was a revelation for the Foxes last season as he drove them on to an incredible title win in his first-ever season in the Premier League.
A diminutive figure, Kante was the heartbeat of Leicester’s success but so far he has refused to commit his future to the Foxes and towards the end of last season Claudio Ranieri said any player was free to leave if they didn’t want to be there.
Sky Sports reported on Wednesday Kante was offered a new four-year contract worth $130,000 a week at the King Power Stadium to try and fend off interest from elsewhere.
News of this new contract offer comes after Kante’s time with the French national team at EURO 2016 has finished, with Didier Deschamps starting him in three games but not in the semifinal or final.
The 25-year-old will no doubt now be mulling over this new offer with his agent and with UEFA Champions League action coming to Leicester this season, why wouldn’t he extend his stay and keep the good times rolling at the KP?
Well, wages is one thing. A big thing. With the recent exploits in China, we’ve seen how players can easily put aside ambitions of winning trophies and playing in the elite competitions in Europe purely for financial gain. There’s nothing wrong with that and a humble, hardworking character like Kante should be able to make his own mind up on what is best for his future.
If Kante joins Chelsea he will of course not be playing in the UCL next season but if he doubles the wages that Leicester is offering him then can you blame him?
He has worked his way up to the top of the game and is widely regarded as the best midfield tackler and interceptor in Europe right now. From battling in the lower tiers with Boulogne and Caen in France to winning the PL with Leicester in England and starring for the French national team, Kante’s rise has been swift over the past 12 months.
Kante is also wanted by Shanghai SIPG, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain but the thought of linking up with Antonio Conte at Chelsea is said to interest him the most. Conte could get the best out of him and he could become a key part of Chelsea’s new-look side. That’s attractive, no matter what he achieved with Leicester last season.
If he stays or if he goes, Kante will always be a hero among Leicester’s fans. A players career is short and financial gains should be taken into account, we all understand that. And with Kante having a release clause being inserted into his contract he has given himself the option to be the master of his own destiny. But what about Leicester giving Kante the opportunity to play and thrive in England? Doesn’t he owe them some loyalty to stick around for another season and help them battle in Europe and to defend their crown?
Jamie Vardy has signed a new deal amid interest from Arsenal. Talk of Riyad Mahrez leaving has gone quiet. The only man who may leave the Foxes this summer is perhaps their most important member: Kante.
Leicester should break the bank to try and keep him but if he doesn’t want to remain, fans, the club and others should respect his decision to move on after a glorious, magical season.