N’Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante

Chelsea and France midfielder N’Golo Kante has agreed to sign for Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad.

The 32-year-old’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of June.

Kante has struggled with injuries and made nine appearances for Chelsea during the 2022-23 campaign.

He will join Karim Benzema at Al-Ittihad after his fellow Frenchman left Real Madrid and agreed a three-year deal with them this month.

The move brings to an end a highly successful period in English football for Kante.

He helped Leicester City win the Premier League in the 2015-16 season before moving to Stamford Bridge. At Chelsea Kante won the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup.

He was named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year and the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year for 2016-17.

He also played a key role as France won the World Cup in 2018.

Kante has signed a three-year contract with the club worth a reported £86m.

Kante joins Benzema and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia.

Several high-profile players have been linked with a move to one of Saudi Arabia’s top sides.

But on Tuesday Spurs forward Son Heung-min said he did not want to move to the country, and earlier this month Lionel Messi joined Inter Miami, turning down a more lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia.