N’golo Kante’s defining role in Leicester’s Premier League title charge has ensured the sharks have come circling for his signature as the 2015/16 season nears conclusion.
Shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award alongside two of his Foxes teammates, the Frenchman’s stock has shot through the roof over the course of the campaign.
This has reportedly led to frenzied interest in Kante’s immediate future, from some of the Premier League’s more illustrious clubs and some stellar names on the continent.
A spectacular roll call of clubs have been mentioned, including Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus in recent gossip columns.
The latter are thought to be lining up Kante for around £30m to replace Paul Pogba, who is seemingly set for a new challenge away from the Serie A champions.
Having only signed the 25-year-old from French minnows Caen in the summer of 2015, Leicester are clearly in a strong position to demand top whack for their player, who they will be far more content to keep at the King Power Stadium.
However, if push comes to shove and the Foxes find it difficult to turn down a huge sum, or the player makes his intentions to leave clear, then Claudio Ranieri may wish to replace him with another under-the-radar purchase.
Some reports link Southampton’s Victor Wanyama as the player earmarked to fill Kante’s defensive-midfield shoes, should he depart.
Wanyama should not head up any Ranieri list though. Idrissa Gueye, plying his trade just down the road at Aston Villa would be far more suitable, and far cheaper for sure.
Signed by the Villans for £9m from Lille last summer, 26-year-old Gueye’s performances have seen the Senegalese international finish the season as one of the only players on the squad to have earned any credit.
He is cut from the same tenacious cloth as his Leicester counterpart, with the duo virtually neck-and neck for the highest amount of balls won in the Premier League.
In fact, in terms of interceptions per game on average (4.4 to 4.2), Gueye slightly out performs Kante in an area of the latter’s game which he is revered for.
The pair were often compared to each other in Ligue 1 last season, but because of the players surrounding Kante at the King Power, their respective fortunes have been mirror opposites.
Gueye has stated he wants out of Villa Park now they are relegated, and Leicester would do well to find a cheaper or more effective replacement for their star man.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.