Newcastle United owners confident of signing Chelsea star in next 24 hours - agreement reached

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Newcastle United’s Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia owners are close to securing their latest addition for the Pro League.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is set to sign for Al-Ittihad within the next 24 hours.

Al-Ittihad is one of four Saudi Pro League clubs 75 per-cent owned by Newcastle United’s majority owners the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. It was announced last week PIF had also taken control of Al-Ahil, Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal as part of Saudi Arabia’s sports clubs investment and privatization project. The other 25 per-cent is held by non-profit foundations.

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And since that announcement, some of world football’s most iconic names have been approached over a move to those PIF-owned clubs.

Newcastle United non executive and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Newcastle United non executive and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Newcastle United non executive and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) | Getty Images

After Real Madrid legend Karim Benzema signed a three-year contract worth a reported £172million-per-season with Al-Ittihad on Tuesday, fellow countryman Kante is set to be the next through the door.

The French midfielder is out of contract at Chelsea this summer and has agreed a two-year contract worth a reported £86m-per-annum in Saudi Arabia. Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano says Al-Ittihad are confident a deal will be secured within the next 24 hours.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the first superstar to move to Saudi Arabia when he joined Al-Nassr in January on a £175million-a-year contract. And the five-time Ballon d’Or believes the Pro League will become one of the “most important” in the world in years to come.

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“Let’s bug people a bit,” Ronaldo said during a press conference. “I knew that me going to Saudi Arabia would open a box and I wasn’t wrong.

“I’m sure in a couple of years or three, this league is going to be one of the most important leagues in the world. We can see that already. Karim left [Real Madrid] already and I am 1000% sure that many more players will.”

While Saudi Arabia fell short in its efforts to lure Argentina legend Lionel Messi, who opted to join MLS side Inter Miami instead, offers have reportedly been tabled to the likes of Serge Busquets, Paul Pogba, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Wilfried Zaha and Hugo Lloris. Many more household names are expected to follow.

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