N’Golo Kante admits that he turned down the chance to work with Thomas Tuchel at Paris Saint-Germain, with the pair now looking to enjoy success together at Chelsea.
Kante is a two-time Premier League champion and one of the finest exponents of the holding role in the global game.
What has been said?
Quizzed by Chelsea’s official website on being a target for Tuchel in the past, Kante said: “I knew in the past there was some contact with Paris Saint-Germain when he was the manager, but it was not something I wanted. It did not happen because I was happy at Chelsea and I stayed here. I haven’t spoken to the manager about it!”
Why was Kante so in demand?
The 29-year-old enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence after being snapped up by Leicester in 2015. His solitary season with the Foxes tempted Chelsea into parting with £32 million ($45m) in order to secure his services.
Another top-flight crown was captured in his debut campaign with the Blues, along with the PFA Player of the Year award.
International glory with France was to follow as they conquered the world in 2018.
Tuchel has admitted to making moves to snap him up while at Parc des Princes, telling reporters in January: “I wanted many years to have N’Golo Kante in my team and now I have him here, also Olivier Giroud, we have a clear picture.
"I have been following the Premier League for many years both in Dortmund and in Paris so I have a clear picture of what the guys are capable of.”
The bigger picture
Chelsea have Kante tied to a contract through to the summer of 2023.
Injuries have been an issue for the Frenchman of late, but he has made 31 appearances across all competitions this season and retained his place as a Blues regular after Frank Lampard was replaced as manager by Tuchel.
He will be hoping to be included once again when top four hopefuls Chelsea take in a crunch clash with defending champions Liverpool on Thursday.