Zinedine Zidane shopping in Chelsea for first Real Madrid transfer
Zidane already has his eye on transfer targets at Madrid.
Zinedine Zidane returned to Real Madrid on Monday, replacing manager Santiago Solari on a contract until 2022, and has already earmarked N'Golo Kante as his first transfer target.
Zidane was confirmed as the club's new manager 10 months after he shocked president Florentino Perez and the hierarchy by resigning following yet another successful Champions League campaign, his third in a row as manager of Madrid.
Madrid immediately plumped for then Spain manager Julen Lopetegui, who left his international role on the eve of their first World Cup match with Portugal to take the opportunity.
His time at the club was short however, as poor results and team unrest led to his sacking in October. He was replaced by former player Santiago Solari, who didn't fair much better.
Zidane is already working on improving his squad and according to La Gazzetta dello Sport's Nicolò Schira, he has identified Chelsea midfielder NGolo Kante as his first potential signing now that he's back.
Zinedine #Zidane has signed a contract until 2022 with #RealMadrid (€16M at year). He wants as the first purchase N’Golo #Kante from #Chelsea. #transfers #CFC
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) March 11, 2019
Kante, the first person to win two league titles with two different clubs since compatriot Eric Cantona in 1992 and 1993, has struggled to adapt to Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri's tactics since the Italian took over at Stamford Bridge.
One of the league's best holding midfielders - a role in which he helped guide France to the World Cup in the summer of 2018 - Kante has found himself pushed up field in Sarri's preferred formation, with Italian international Jorginho assuming a deeper position.
The deal will present difficulty for Madrid, regardless of Kante's willingness to remain at Chelsea. The Premier League club were recently hit with a transfer ban, while Kante signed a new contract until 2023 in November, meaning that it would likely require a record bid for them to permit his departure.
The three-time Champions League manager is back and he's already shopping smart.