Zinedine Zidane has reportedly asked Real Madrid to sign Leicester City’s France international midfielder N’Golo Kante.
AS has already dubbed Kante ‘the new Makelele’ and say Zizou wants the tough-tackling midfielder as he doesn’t feel Casemiro is enough to cover the defensive midfield position in the squad on his own, in case of injury or suspension.
Paul Pogba is still wanted as the star summer signing but Kante has been requested to bolster the squad in a key position, one that Zidane is conscious of after playing for Madrid first with Claude Makelele, and then without him.
None of Zidane’s other midfield options – Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, James Rodriguez, Isco and Mateo Kovacic – play the holding role naturally, while Lucas Silva is to be sold.
AS recalls how Florentino Perez sold Makelele to Chelsea in summer 2003, shortly after signing David Beckham, claiming the team wouldn’t miss Makelele as he ‘couldn’t head the ball and rarely passed it more than three metres,’ while Zidane always considered the departure a mistake by the President.
Kante meanwhile is attractive to Zidane because he comes with Makelele’s blessing and would be affordable with a €25m clause which only applies to clubs outside the Premier League, reducing competition for his signature.
Madrid would also be able to trump Kante’s wages as he is on a deal that pays €1.7m-a-year until 2019.