Arsene Wenger has hinted that N’Golo Kante is set to leave Leicester , but claimed he still has “respect” for Jamie Vardy – despite failing to land the striker.
England star Vardy has turned down a £20million move to Arsenal to stay with the champions, who have handed him a new deal worth £100,000-a-week.
Vardy kept the Gunners waiting for nearly three weeks, but their manager Wenger claims he is not bitter — although he dropped a bombshell by claiming he thinks midfield workhorse Kante will move on this summer.
Wenger has been heavily linked with Kante and did not rule out making a move for the France international, but also suggested he already has enough midfielders.
However, he believes Nice defensive midfielder Nampalys Mendy will soon join Leicester, paving the way for Kante – who has a buy-out clause – to depart.
Wenger, in an interview with beIN Sports, said: “I think Leicester have made a statement and Vardy will stay. We were on the case and interested, but not more than that.
“He has decided to stay at Leicester and good luck to him.
“He came late to the game and in fairness Leicester bought him from Fleetwood and he has been successful. He is 29 and he has chosen to stay at Leicester. You have to respect that.”
Wenger, who has already signed Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka this summer in a £30m deal, believes Kante will leave the Premier League champions.
“It is very difficult to talk about that at the moment,” he said. “Kante is on the list of many clubs. It is an area where we have many players.
“We will see what happens in the next two or three weeks. It looks like Leicester have bought a player from Nice [Nampalys Mendy] with similar qualities to Kante, so whether they envisage to lose him or not I don’t know.