Premier League • England

End of an era at Chelsea as Pochettino loses Blues great to insane contract offer

Chelsea stars Reece James and N'Golo Kante

Mauricio Pochettino will be denied the chance to manage one of Chelsea’s greatest ever Premier League players after a staggering move to Saudi Arabia was confirmed by a trusted source.

Moves to the Saudi Pro League are becoming increasingly common and that is a trend that won’t soon change. Behind the development is the Saudi Public Investment Fund taking control of four of the country’s most prominent football teams – Al Ittihad, Al Ahli, Al Nassr, and Al Hilal.

Cristiano Ronaldo is already at Al Nassr, while Karim Benzema was recently unveiled by Al Ittihad. According to Fabrizio Romano, Benzema will soon be joined at Al Ittihad by fellow Frenchman, N’Golo Kante.

The 32-year-old holding midfielder is out of contract at Stamford Bridge on June 30. Despite an injury-ravaged campaign, Kante looked on course to extend his stay with the Blues back in March.

However, news of progress subsequently went cold and according to Romano, Al Ittihad have pounced.

Indeed, the transfer guru reported Kante has completed a medical in London and will sign a two-year deal that contains an option for a third with Al Ittihad.

The eye-catching piece of the deal is unquestionably the salary, with Kante in line to earn a staggering €100m per season through a combination of ‘image rights, commercial deals and ‘creative’ portfolio’. €100m per year equates to a weekly wage north of £1.65m.

Romano then removed any doubt by giving Kante to Al Ittihad his signature ‘here we go’ confirmation.

Kante leaves a true Chelsea great

Kante was a £32m signing from Leicester back in 2016 and wasted no time anchoring Chelsea’s midfield to trophy after trophy.

Kante lifted the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup during his seven-year stay.

The Frenchman established himself as an attacker’s worst nightmare with his relentless pressing, tough tackling and knack for interceptions.

He was named the Premier League’s Player of the Year in the 2016/17 campaign and was a two-time selection in the FIFPro World XI during his time in west London.

Kante will perhaps be remembered most fondly for his exceptional displays in the knockout stages of Chelsea’s march to Champions League glory in 2021.

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