PSG’s billionaire owners are hell-bent on putting together the best team in the world and are now targeting a £90 million move for N’Golo Kante. The Chelsea midfielder won all three Premiership Player of the Year Awards last season and is arguably the best midfielder in the world nowadays.
He is understandably a hot property and he would certainly bolster the French team’s engine room, while he could be tempted by a move. PSG risk breaching financial fair play rules after more than doubling the world record to sign Neymar in a £200 million deal in the summer. They will have to fork out another £153m when Kylian Mbappé’s transfer becomes permanent next summer, but they do not seem in the least bit concerned and may still find room for the £90 million signing of Kanté.
Here are five reasons why Kanté would be the perfect addition for PSG:
Kanté is a winner
The Frenchman was an unknown quantity when he joined Leicester in a £5.6 million deal in the summer of 2015, but that did not last long. His combative and energetic midfield performances for the Foxes earned him rave reviews and helped drive Leicester to the most unlikely of Premiership title wins that season, defying odds of 5,000/1. Chelsea swooped in to buy him for £30 million last summer and were rewarded with a title of their own. That made Kanté the first player to win back-to-back Premiership titles for two different clubs (unless you count Mark Schwartzer, who sat on the bench for Chelsea in 2014-15 and for Leicester in 2015-16) and he clearly helps foster a winning mentality wherever he goes.
He is individually brilliant
Kante brings the best out of the players around him due to his drive and determination, but he also shines in his own right. Last season he walked off with all three Player of the Year awards as his talent was obvious, earning him the respect of his fellow players, football writers and fans. He is peerless when it comes to breaking up play and chasing down the ball in the middle of the park. He also carries the ball really well and has boundless energy, making him into some sort of terrifying hybrid of Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira. If you look at football spread betting markets at Sporting Index, Chelsea are heavily favoured to win their next four games, including the visit of Man Utd, and that is largely a reflection of Kante’s menacing presence in midfield. However, they are falling behind the Manchester clubs in the title race and he may fancy a move to PSG, who are emerging as one of the best teams in the world.
He would improve the PSG midfield
Most of PSG’s recent investment has gone on the glamorous forward positions, but attacking talent alone does not equate to silverware. The best teams in the world always have a strong core, and they do not come stronger than Kante. PSG have Thiago Silva and Marquinhos at the back, and you cannot argue with that, but they could be tougher in midfield. Marco Verratti is a top player, but Kante could slot in alongside him and provide steel and bite. He would be an excellent screen for the centre-backs, and remain disciplined enough to let Neymar, Mbappe and Edinson Cavani wreak havoc up front. He is easily good enough to dislodge Adrian Rabiot from the first team and would improve PSG no end.
He is French
Kante can form the backbone of the France national team for years to come and PSG would do well to secure his services. He already speaks the language and knows the culture, so he would settle in immediately and hit the ground running. France have a magnificent team and look a great option to win the World Cup next summer, and if Kante stars his price tag will rise accordingly, so PSG can steal a march on their rivals by wrapping up a £90 million deal.
He is still improving
Kante may have won all manner of individual accolades during his short time in England, but he has yet to reach his peak. He is only 26 years old and is getting better all the time. This season he has been praised by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte for improving his distribution and becoming more of an attacking threat. If he continues on that upward curve he will develop into the most complete midfielder in the business, and he still has a good six or seven years left at the top, so it would be a shrewd investment.
Martin Green is an experienced sports writer and has been covering the Premiership and Ligue 1 for many years.