Leicester City have confirmed the signing of Caen midfielder N'Golo Kanté for an undisclosed fee, thought to be £5.6m, on a four-year contract.
The Foxes have been locked in negotiations with the 24-year-old since late May, with the 5ft 6in central midfielder preferring to join Marseille, but secured the deal after out-muscling their transfer rivals.
The Ligue 1 club refused to offer more than £4.2m for the former Boulogne man, leaving Foxes director of football Jon Rudkin with room to swoop. Leicester fans had become nervous after a quiet month followed Esteban Cambiasso's departure.
Speaking post-match after the 3-2 comeback victory over Birmingham City on Saturday, Claudio Ranieri confirmed: "We are talking with Kanté. I am waiting and I am very confident. He is a good player. I hope he is here very soon."
Former manager Nigel Pearson had hoped to take Kanté to the King Power Stadium before his untimely dismissal but Ranieri was happy to conclude the deal. The news, published on the East Midlands club's Twitter page today (Monday), follows the earlier arrivals of Robert Huth, Christian Fuchs and Shinji Okazaki this summer.
Ranieri is also closing in on the £5.6m transfer of Atalanta defender Yohan Benalouane after the 28-year-old confirmed the deal.
French-born Tunisian international Benalouane, who made 27 Serie A appearances last season, announced to the Italian media that Atalanta had received an offer they couldn't refuse from the Premier League outfit.
"I couldn't say anything before everything was over," he told the Bergamo Post.
"I left the training camp in tears on Friday, because I really care for everyone. I didn't want to leave Atalanta and would gladly have stayed, but an offer of €8m is a lot for a club like Atalanta."
- More about:
- Leicester City