Manchester United could reportedly make a shock move for Chelsea star N’Golo Kante with Erik ten Hag looking to rebuild his side from top to bottom.
Ten Hag is set to join United for the start of pre-season after he provisionally agreed on a move from Ajax in April. A plethora of players are set to leave the club, including midfield stars Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, and Nemanja Matic.
But with United formerly looking at the likes of Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, and Aurelien Tchouameni, a deal for a much older midfielder in Kante could well be done instead. The Daily Mirror reports that United believes the hard-working midfielder is an achievable target given that Thomas Tuchel is set to be handed a huge transfer budget by new owner Todd Boehly.
With just one year left on his contract, there is no better time to chase a cut-price deal for the Frenchman’s services. Ten Hag believes that the midfielder still has the ability and desire to help the young United stars that are coming through.
And with drastic surgery in the engine room needed, Kante could well be the perfect candidate for the role. Current boss and future technical advisor Ralf Rangnick has previously criticized the club’s policy of signing older players, which could prove a problem with Kante being 31 years of age.
However, United chiefs still believe he has plenty to offer due to his energetic and never-say-die nature. The diminutive Frenchman joined the Blues in 2016 for £32million after winning the Premier League with Leicester.
The box-to-box star has been reliable for his club and country, making over 100 appearances in the last two years. And being a born winner – having won the Champions League, Europa League, World Cup, and Premier League in his last five years as a footballer – appeals massively to United bosses over the profile of the player they want.
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Rice had been linked with a move to Old Trafford recently, although West Ham is said to want £150m for his signature.
They themselves have offered Rice an eight-year contract worth £200,000-per-week in order to stay, although his preferred destination is set to be Chelsea. And if that occurs, the Chelsea star, Kante could fall even further down the pecking order.