French midfielder N’Golo Kante, a World Cup winner, has officially joined Saudi Arabian champions Al Ittihad, as announced by the club on Wednesday. He will be joining his compatriot Karim Benzema at the club.
The club confirmed the signing on Twitter, stating, “Kante is an Ittihad player now!” Chairman Anmar al-Hailee also expressed his welcome, referring to Kante as the team’s new tiger.
At 32 years old, Kante is the latest European star to make a move to the lucrative Saudi Arabian league, which has been attracting top talent from around the world.
Kante’s impressive career includes winning the World Cup with France in 2018. He has achieved great success at the club level as well, winning the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup with Chelsea, and securing back-to-back Premier League titles with both Leicester City and Chelsea.
Having reached the end of his contract with Chelsea, Kante has signed a three-year deal with Al Ittihad, according to a statement from the Jeddah-based team. The financial details of the contract were not disclosed.
The club’s statement emphasized the significance of Kante’s arrival, describing it as one of the most high-profile and impactful signings in the history of Al Ittihad. The move reflects the club’s ambition to attract world-class players to the Saudi Professional League.
Kante will don the number seven shirt, the same number he wore at Chelsea. His compatriot Karim Benzema, the current Ballon d’Or holder, joined Al Ittihad earlier this month after an illustrious 14-year spell with Real Madrid.
Kante’s move to Saudi Arabia follows the trend of high-profile players making similar transfers. The league had previously secured the services of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Al-Nassr in January. Ruben Neves, the Portuguese international currently playing for Wolves, is also rumored to be on the verge of joining Al Hilal.