Zinedine Zidane mostly gets who he wants at Real Madrid and now he wants N’Golo Kante. All Chelsea will do is laugh in his face at the notion.
When Zinedine Zidane rejoined Real Madrid with a blank checkbook, it seemingly made a lot of sense for everyone involved. After all, he had inspired Real Madrid to one of their most successful periods in history and left over transfer hiccups. Fix the hiccups and apparently everything would be alright again.
Except it has not really played out that way. Obviously it is early days yet, but Real Madrid has hardly set off with fire in their bellies. Even with new signings like Luka Jovic and Eden Hazard, Real Madrid is mostly leaning on the same aging team that won all those Champions Leagues. It all feels stagnant in Madrid as Barcelona sleepwalks their way to wins and Atletico Madrid overhauled.
In response, Zidane is apparently dipping back into his blank check book by asking for N’Golo Kante. Now Real Madrid has a lot of cash and it would be wrong for Chelsea to call another club entitled for sniffing around a player, but all the Blues should do is throw back their heads and laugh at Zidane’s interest.
It is worth keeping in mind the circumstances that surrounded both Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard’s departures first. Both were on one year remaining in their contract. Courtois went AWOL at the eleventh hour and Hazard had always made it clear that Real Madrid was his dream and Zidane his idol. Chelsea either had to risk losing them for free after a year or getting what they could.
The situation with Kante is different. Chelsea wisely listened to their better angels last season and extended Kante’s contract. Kante is now not only Chelsea’s last remaining world class player, but he also has four years left on his contract. Real Madrid has no real bargaining power in the situation.
That is not to say that Kante does not have a price. After all, Hazard had one year left on his contract, was world class, and went for €100 million. Therefore, if Real Madrid really wants Kante, it should come at no less than €400 million or an equivalent in player exchanges.
Zidane and Real Madrid are used to getting who they want, but usually who they want is the player on the edge. Kante is nowhere close to that edge and no matter how much they bang their usual drums, Kante will not be the type to go AWOL or try to angle for a move.
And this is largely going to be academic anyways, as Zidane will need to improve upon where Real Madrid currently is by January to even keep his job. That may sound silly, but any inch given in the La Liga title race is a mile and there are plenty who would be okay with seeing him go.
These rumors are from a credible source in Simon Johnson (now of The Athletic) but Zidane’s interest is all it will ever be. Kante is going nowhere and despite Real Madrid being used to getting their way, nothing will change for the French midfielder.