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Kante's Saudi move hits medical snag: club source

Kante's Saudi move hits medical snag: club source

June 8, 2023 (AFP)

World Cup-winning France midfielder N'Golo Kante's planned move to Saudi side Al-Ittihad is being stalled by medical issues, a club source told AFP on Thursday.

Kante, 32, has a history of injuries and missed six months of Chelsea's Premier League season with a hamstring problem.

The Al-Ittihad source said Kante had signed a binding agreement but the club were examining the results of medical tests before agreeing a final deal.

On Tuesday, the Jeddah-based club officially unveiled 35-year-old French Ballon d'Or-winner Karim Benzema as the biggest signing in their history.

"Kante signed a binding agreement, not a final contract," the source said.

"We still review the medical checkup result. He has a long injury history and we want to be careful before signing a huge contract."

Benzema's signing came after Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo joined Saudi Arabia's Al-Nassr in January in a deal said to be worth more than 400 million euros ($431 million).

Benzema and Kante are on a list of around 10 targets who have been contacted by Saudi officials, a source close to the negotiations told AFP last week.

Argentina's Lionel Messi announced on Wednesday he had turned down a blockbuster deal in Saudi Arabia in favour of joining MLS side Inter Miami.

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