Manchester United could be about to embark on a familiar transfer route in order to try and bring a two-time Premier League winner to Old Trafford.
The Mirror reported that the Red Devils have made an enquiry to Chelsea for N’Golo Kante, who are seemingly prepared to listen to offers for a midfielder who is coveted by United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, The Mirror also claimed that, in order for the Red Devils to clinch a deal for the Frenchman, he would need to willingly take a significant cut on his £300,000-a-week wages.
United have made a habit of raiding Chelsea for midfielders in recent years, having lured both Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic from Stamford Bridge to Old Trafford, as well as appointing Jose Mourinho within a few months of his dismissal by the Londoners during the 2015/16 season.
Kante, who won the Premier League with Leicester in that campaign before repeating the feat with Chelsea a year later, has been described as the best midfielder in the English top flight by none other than Sir Alex Ferguson. His former Blues team-mate Eden Hazard once remarked: “Sometimes, when I’m on the pitch, I think I see him twice”, in reference to the 29-year-old’s relentless work rate.
Do you think Man United will sign Kante before Monday's transfer deadline?
Indeed, the French midfielder has already won 11 tackles in the league this season, a figure which only five players can beat, and he averaged two tackles and 3.5 interceptions per game last term. While fellow defensive midfielder Matic had a slightly higher tackling ratio at Old Trafford (2.2 per game), the Serbia international managed just one interception per game.
Kante’s match average for interceptions in the early weeks of the current campaign is an impressive 3.7, the most of any player in the Premier League (as per WhoScored), and he has continued to hold down a place in Frank Lampard’s starting XI despite Chelsea spending more than £220m on transfers over the summer.
At 29, Kante is three years younger than Matic, whose appearance against Brighton on Saturday was his first of the Premier League season, having started less than half of United’s league games last term.
The Chelsea enforcer’s recent metrics suggest that he still has plenty to offer to any club and his steel could be the perfect complement to an Old Trafford midfield where Bruno Fernandes will likely continue to sprinkle the stardust.
Whether the United hierarchy can convince the 2018 World Cup winner to take a wage cut in order to quit Stamford Bridge, though, is where this possible deal could stand or fall – and a track record of one signing so far in this window suggests that the Red Devils’ powers of persuasion aren’t the strongest.
Man United fans, how good a signing would Kante be? Have your say by commenting below!
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