Arsene Wenger has revealed he twice tried to sign N’Golo Kante for Arsenal as the Gunners prepare to take on the France international and his Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Kante left champions Leicester for the Blues in the summer for a reported fee of £32m and has been a huge success under Antonio Conte’s side who lead the table by nine points.
During Friday’s pre-match press conference, Wenger was asked if had ever tried to bring the midfielder to the Emirates and hinted that finances had been a factor.
“Have I looked to sign Kante? Yes. When he was in France and when he was at Leicester,” Wenger said via The Guardian.
“I cannot explain everything [about why he preferred Chelsea] but it is quite obvious when you look at where he has gone.
“Was it the money? I do not want to talk about that. Transfers are transfers – you cannot explain absolutely everything.”
- Arsenal are in surprise transfer links for Chelsea first team star
- How will Arsenal line up vs West Ham – Two major changes expected
- Mikel Arteta makes U-turn on long-term Arsenal star – will stay at club
Wenger feels that Kante has had a big impact at Chelsea as he aims to do a Premier League double over Antonio Conte’s side.
“I feel Chelsea have found a better defensive balance since we beaten then 3-0 in September” Wenger said.
“They are very good in transition. I watched their game against Liverpool and Kante had a huge impact in their team.
“It’s no coincidence that they are in the position that they are and Leicester were in the position they were last season.
“Eden Hazard and Diego Costa have also come back to very strong form compared to last season, so Chelsea are very efficient when they go forward.”
Wenger’s comments are fairly frustrating in truth with the manager revealing yet another top player he has wanted to bring to the club, but failed to sign.