N'Golo Kante admits he wanted to join French side Marseille before helping Leicester City to win the Premier League

Luke Brown
The Independent
Kante initially wanted to join Marseille before moving to England: Getty
Kante initially wanted to join Marseille before moving to England: Getty

N’Golo Kante has revealed that he initially wanted to join Marseille instead of moving to the Premier League in 2015.

French side Caen decided to cash in on Kante at the end of the 2014/15 season, after the midfielder helped them to a respectable 13th-place finish in their first season back in the top flight.

Leicester City – who had only just survived relegation to the Championship – had long been scouting Kante and the club eventually signed the player for £5.6m.

The Frenchman played a pivotal role in Leicester’s scarcely believable title-winning campaign before switching clubs again. A year after moving to the Premier League he joined Chelsea for £32m, netting Leicester a cool £26.3m profit.

However, Kante – who is currently away on international duty with the French national team – has since revealed that he very nearly decided against a move to England, instead favouring a transfer to Marseille.

“Among the clubs that most wanted to recruit me were Marseille and Leicester,” Kante told French broadcaster Canal Plus.

“I thought I had to go through a stage in France. I remember the generation of [Mamadou] Niang, [Franck] Ribery and [Samir] Nasri and it was a team that I liked, especially in the Champions League.”

Instead Kante opted for a move overseas, and the rest is history.

N'Golo Kante has helped transform Chelsea this season (Getty)
N'Golo Kante has helped transform Chelsea this season (Getty)

The combative midfielder was named in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year after helping Leicester to the title and is now the current favourite for the PFA Players' Player of the Year Award, having been instrumental in Chelsea’s march to the top of the table.

But Kante believes that several of his team-mates are more willing of the award.

"There are quite a few players in the Premier League who deserve this award," he said.

"There is [Eden] Hazard, Diego Costa and David Luiz in my team."

France will play a home friendly against Spain on Tuesday night, before Kante rejoins Chelsea, whose Premier League campaign resumes with a match against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

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