The north London club were interested in signing the Frenchman in the summer of 2016 when he was still a Leicester City player.
The midfielder had just helped deliver a historic Premier League title for the Foxes, but it was Chelsea who would go on to sign Kante for a fee of £32million.
Arsenal signed Borussia Moenchengladbach and Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka in 2016
But it was only after they turned down signing N’Golo Kante due to excessive agents’ fees
A few weeks before Kante’s move, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal had confirmed the signing of Borussia Moenchengladbach and Switzerland midfielder Xhaka for £35million.
However, the Swiss’s move to Emirates Stadium only came after the Gunners pulled out of a deal for Kante, due to baulking at what they deemed excessive payment for the services of associated intermediaries.
And former Gunners transfer negotiator, Dick Law, hinted to The Athletic that a move for Kante was on the table until the plug was pulled by Arsenal.
Arsenal were interested in Kante after he had helped Leicester delivered a historic title win
‘When things reached an extreme, we tended to back away,’ Law said.
A Football Leaks has subsequently revealed the two agents involved in Kante’s transfer to west London pocketed a combined £10.6million, which even reportedly dissuaded Paris Saint-Germain from following up their interest.
Gregory Dakad received £6.4 million and Abdelkarim Douis went away with £4.2 million.
But Kante would end up at Chelsea after a £32million move and £10.6m paid in agents’ fees
But 10 months later Kante had won his second successive Premier League title and the World Cup winner is now reportedly a £100million target for La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Xhaka meanwhile has struggled to consistently make his mark in north London, and even had the captaincy stripped off him by former boss Unai Emery after reacting to fans booing him off the field in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October.
Law also revealed that Arsenal failed to capture Kante’s-then team-mate Jamie Vardy in the same summer.
The Frenchman has since gone on to win another Premier League title and the World Cup
Xhaka has struggled to make his mark at Arsenal and was booed by his own fans in October
‘The deal with Leicester was done, the deal with the player [Vardy] was done,’ said Law.
‘He came down to visit with his wife Rebekah, he sat on the couch in front of Arsene [Wenger]… and then he backed off.
‘On his way back to Leicester I get a call from the player saying he wants to think about it overnight. At that point, you know it’s bad news.’
Former Arsenal negotiatior Dick Law also detailed how they failed to sign Jamie Vardy in 2016