N’Golo Kante’s move to Al Ittihad has been put on hold after it was revealed that he is in worse shape than expected.
“French midfielder N’Golo Kante’s move to Al Ittihad has been halted following a medical test,” AFP reported on Monday.
Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad has been collecting a number of high-profile players from around the world this summer.
On July 7, the club signed 2022 Ballon d’Or winner and Real Madrid world-class forward Karim Benzema on a three-year deal.
With the signing of Benzema complete, Al Ittihad immediately began the hunt for new players. Their target was Kante, a Frenchman like Benzema and a world-class player in his prime.
In the past, Kante was a key part of the midfield at Leicester City, Chelsea, and the French national team due to his prodigious work rate and defensive prowess.
He helped Leicester win the Premier League title in the 2015/16 season, while France were crowned champions at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Chelsea also won six trophies with Kante in his seven years with the club, including the UEFA Champions League.
As time went on, his form declined and his contract expired, Kante decided to leave Chelsea and join Al Ittihad.
Transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano said on July 7, “Kante and Al Ittihad have signed a two-year contract. ‘Here we go!'” and that the move was a foregone conclusion, but Kante’s injury history was a setback.
“Kante has signed the contract, but Al Ittihad are reviewing the decision of a medical test before finalizing the agreement,” AFP explained the situation.
“Kante has been sidelined for around six months during the 2022/23 Premier League season with a hamstring problem,” the source added, “and given his long injury history, Al Ittihad want to be as cautious as possible before committing to a big contract.”
Indeed, Kante played just seven league games and 520 minutes last season as he was plagued by hamstring and calf injuries that landed him on the operating table.스포츠토토
While last season was his first long-term injury, Kante has been plagued by niggling injuries in recent years and has never been able to stay healthy and play a full season. He was born in 1991, so at 32 years old, there are questions about his resilience.
With Kante’s fitness proving to be far worse than fans had expected, Al Ittihad decided to hold off on signing him until they were more confident about his health.