Arsenal report: Gunners in shock swoop for N'Golo Kante from Chelsea

Arsenal target and Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal could sign N'Golo Kante from rivals Chelsea, with the World Cup winner wanting to remain in London when he leaves the Blues.

The Frenchman moved to Stamford Bridge in 2016 after a title-winning season with Leicester City, managing to repeat the feat a season later under Antonio Conte – and Kante has gone onto win almost everything in the game since, winning an FA Cup and World Cup in 2018, Europa League in 2019 and the Champions League in 2021 before a Club World Cup this year. 

But the 31-year-old will see his current deal in West London come to an end next summer, after seven glorious years. While he was a favourite of former owner Roman Abramovich, it is rumoured that he will not be offered a new contract under Todd Boehly. 

Todd Boehly

N'Golo Kante is not going to be offered a new contract under Todd Boehly (Image credit: Getty)

According to French outlet Foot Mercato (opens in new tab), that puts Arsenal and Tottenham firmly in the driving seat for the Frenchman's signature, with the Gunners historically linked with Kante's signature.

The current table-toppers were rumoured to be interested in Kante over the summer but apparently came close to snaring the midfielder before he even joined Chelsea. It was thought that salary demands were an issue when the French No.7 departed Leicester. 

Even prior to the player's time in England, former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger declared that he could have signed Kante.

“The end of my career, [my biggest regret was] N’Golo Kante,” he told Ian Wright during a Q&A on Ladbible’s YouTube page (opens in new tab).

World Cup

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could have signed N'Golo Kante (Image credit: Getty)

“Because he played in a club in Paris where one of my best friends was a director and he told me, ‘please, I have a player, he is unbelievable, but no one wants him in France.’

“He [the friend] took him [Kante] in his car and travelled with him from club to club. And finally, a club in Division Three took N’Golo Kante. It is an unbelievable story, you could make a film with him.

“And he is something you don’t find often: he wins the ball without making a foul and straight away he moves the ball forward.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during a training session at London Colney on September 07, 2022 in St Albans, England.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could land N'Golo Kante (Image credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal have done a couple of deals for Chelsea players in recent times, signing Willian on a free transfer when his time at Stamford Bridge ended and landing David Luiz during the Unai Emery era.

Should Kante join, he could well offer cover as a No.6 behind the injury-prone Thomas Partey, while his ability as a No.8 could well provide another option as depth alongside Granit Xhaka, Martin Odegaard and Fabio Vieira. 

Kante is valued at around £31m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab)

More Arsenal stories

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli; the Gunners are said to have already made contact with the Italy international's camp.

Meanwhile, one man who could be heading for the Emirates Stadium exit door is Gabriel Martinelli: there's been talk of Chelsea making a shock swoop for the winger.

In other news, Aaron Ramsdale says that the Gunners have been motivated to succeed this season by the disappointment of missing out on Champions League qualification last term. The goalkeeper was speaking after Saturday's 3-1 North London derby win over Tottenham – a result which kept Mikel Arteta's side top of the Premier League. 

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.