Arsenal insider reveals why Xhaka was signed instead of N’Golo Kante

Xhaka and Kante

Arsenal’s former transfer negotiator has revealed that the club passed up the opportunity to sign Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante ahead of the blues because of the high agents’ fees involved in the deal.

Kante was linked with several teams in the summer of 2016 having played an important role in Leicester City’s Premier League title success that campaign.

Arsenal were one of the teams in the running to sign Kante but the Frenchman ended up moving to Stamford Bridge in a £32 million deal.

Earlier that summer, Arsene Wenger had improved his midfield options with the signing of Granit Xhaka from Bundesliga for £35m.

But Wenger was unable to strengthen further with the arrival of N’Golo Kante due to the rising cost of the deal.

Football Leaks later revealed that two agents involved in brokering Chelsea’s deal for the France international were paid a combined total of £10.6m. Gregory Dakad received £6.4m, while Abdelkarim Douis was paid £4.2m.

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It was also revealed by Football Leaks that Chelsea director Maria Granovskaia even warned Roman Abramovich about the high fees involved in the deal for the two agents.

Speaking to The Athletic, Arsenal’s former transfer negotiator Dick Law spoke about the Gunners’ possible deal for Kante: ‘When things reached an extreme, we tended to back away.’

Law also revealed how Jamie Vardy turned down Arsenal after the club had agreed a transfer fee and a contract.

‘The deal with Leicester was done, the deal with the player was done,’ said Law. ‘He came down to visit with his wife Rebekah, he sat on the couch in front of Arsene… and then he backed off.

‘On his way back to Leicester I get a call from the player saying he wants to think about it overnight. At that point, you know it’s bad news.’


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