According to a source from the club, the planned transfer of N’Golo Kante, the World Cup-winning midfielder from France, to Saudi side Al-Ittihad is facing delays due to medical issues. Kante, who is 32 years old, has a history of injuries, including a six-month absence from Chelsea’s Premier League season due to a hamstring problem.
The source from Al-Ittihad mentioned that although Kante has already signed a binding agreement, the club is currently reviewing the results of his medical tests before finalizing the deal. On a related note, Karim Benzema, the 35-year-old French Ballon d’Or winner, was officially introduced by the Jeddah-based club as their most significant signing ever on Tuesday.
The source clarified that while Kante has signed a binding agreement, it is not the final contract, as the club is being cautious due to his extensive injury history before committing to a substantial deal.
Karim Benzema’s arrival follows the earlier transfer of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia in January, which was reported to be worth over 400 million euros ($431 million).
Furthermore, the negotiations for Al-Ittihad have reached out to around 10 potential targets, including Benzema and Kante, according to a source familiar with the matter as disclosed to AFP last week.
In a separate development, Lionel Messi from Argentina announced on Wednesday that he had declined a lucrative offer in Saudi Arabia and instead opted to join the MLS team Inter Miami.