Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri knows that despite winning the Premier League, his club does not have the financial muscle to compete with the biggest of the big clubs in England and across Europe. So when the likes of Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid are sniffing around his players, he knows that the only way to truly convince them to stay is to appeal to them personally beyond just the financial compensation.
When the Kante rumors first started up, fueled by the player himself admitting that he relishes the interest and will consider offers from other teams, Ranieri reminded all his "sons" to not destroy the good thing they had built at Leicester.
"But if one of my players says to me I want to go there, I try to keep him. I suggest to everybody this is a fantastic club, we won the title, we can do something good in a few years. If you go away you don't know what happens, here you are the king. It is much better to stay here one year more and look at what happens. Then maybe you can go anywhere."
"You maybe change a team and go in the big teams, maybe you don't start very well and stay outside the first XI, you slow down. It is important to choose very well for the lads because now for me as well the lads are my sons. If they come to me I say this, ‘Be careful'."
-Claudio Ranieri; May 4, 2016
This appeal worked on Jamie Vardy, who looked close to joining Arsenal for a minute, but then decided to re-up with Leicester. Riyad Mahrez looks set to stay as well, but N'Golo Kante is proving a slightly tougher nugget.
"We offered Kanté a new deal before he went to the Euros. Now I know there are a lot of big teams interested. It's in his hands [the decision to stay or leave the club]"
-Claudio Ranieri; Source: ITV
The latest update claims that Chelsea offered a total fee of £30 million for Kanté - an improvement of £10 million on Kanté's rumoured release clause - but that this approach is set to be rejected, prompting Chelsea to consider an even bigger bid. Meanwhile, Leicester's new proposal surpasses the £100,000-per-week they initially offered.
Is Kante willing to blow all the Leicester goodwill up for a few quid more? That's a question to which only he knows the answer. Obviously, we're hoping his answer is an emphatic yes.