Arsene Wenger hinted that Arsenal FC may be looking to bid for N’Golo Kante, after failing to sign the Frenchman’s Leicester City teammate Jamie Vardy.
The Gunners had triggered Vardy’s £22 million buy-out clause earlier this month, which meant that the final word on the move would rest on the player himself.
They looked sure to sign him, but in an unexpected twist, Vardy decided to stay at Leicester and signed a four-year extension with the Foxes on Thursday. [via Leicester City’s official website]
Arsene Wenger admitted that Arsenal were looking to sign Vardy earlier this month, but have now given up on their hopes of bringing the 29-year-old to the Emirates.
“I think Leicester have made a statement and Vardy will stay. We were on the case and interested, but not more than that,” the Gunners’ boss said to beIN Sport [via ESPN].
“He has decided to stay at Leicester and good luck to him. He is 29 and he has chosen to stay at Leicester. You have to respect that.”
However there is yet another Leicester City star, who the Gunners could sign this summer, despite their failure to lure Vardy to the Emirates. French midfielder N’Golo Kante has been in brilliant form since joining the Foxes from Ligue 1 club SM Caen last season, and has attracted the interest of a number of top clubs.
When asked about the 25-year-old, Wenger said that landing Kante might be a bit difficult.
“It is very difficult to talk about that at the moment. Kante is on the list of many clubs. It is an area where we have many players,” said Wenger.
However, the Arsenal boss was also hinted that he might be looking to sign Kante, as Leicester look like they are already preparing for life without the 25-year-old.
“We will see what happens in the next two or three weeks. It looks like Leicester have bought a player from Nice [Nampalys Mendy] with similar qualities to Kante, so whether they envisage to lose him or not I don’t know,” said Wenger.
Does Arsenal require Vardy more than Kante?
Given their current predicament, the Gunners are in urgent requirement of some firepower up front. With Danny Welbeck suffering from a long term injury, Olivier Giroud has been left as their only out-and-out striker. Theo Walcott has also been played up front on occasions by Wenger. However, the Englishman is more of a wing player and not a long term forward option for the Gunners.
In this regard the in-form Jamie Vardy would have been a brilliant signing, as the Englishman displayed his goal-scoring prowess by netting 24 goals this past season.
When it comes to midfield, Arsenal already have a number of top players in their ranks. The likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil have all mesmerised the Emirates crowd with their creative style of play in the middle of the park.
While Kante is more of a defensive midfielder, the Gunners seem to have that position covered quite well too, with the likes of Francis Coquelin, Mohammed Elneny and recent acquisition Granit Xhaka among their ranks. It seems unlikely that Wenger would sign yet another midfielder when he already has so many quality players at his disposal.