In a surprising move, N'Golo Kante has officially ended his seven-year spell at Chelsea and signed with Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad on a three-year contract, reported by The French midfielder's transfer to the Saudi Pro League comes after negotiations for a new deal with Chelsea fell through, making him available on a free transfer when his Chelsea contract expires on June 30.

The 32-year-old World Cup winner will join Al-Ittihad, the recently crowned Saudi Pro League champions, in July ahead of the new season, which kicks off on August 11. Kante's move to Al-Ittihad reportedly comes with a staggering annual salary of €86 million ($109.78 million).

During his time at Chelsea, Kante established himself as one of the most important players in the club's recent history, winning six trophies including the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup. His relentless work rate, exceptional defensive abilities, and impressive ball-winning skills made him a fan favorite at Stamford Bridge.

Kante's arrival in Saudi Arabia sees him join compatriot Karim Benzema, who welcomed him in a video posted on Al-Ittihad's official Twitter account. Benzema expressed his excitement about playing alongside Kante again and praised his qualities as a box-to-box midfielder.

The addition of Kante to Al-Ittihad's squad further solidifies the team's ambitions to dominate domestic and regional competitions. With Cristiano Ronaldo already making a high-profile move to Al-Nassr in January, the Saudi Pro League continues to attract world-class talent and raise its profile on the global stage.

As Kante prepares for a new chapter in his career, Chelsea will bid farewell to a player who made an immense impact on their success. His departure leaves a significant void in their midfield, and the Blues will now look to bolster their squad in the upcoming transfer window to maintain their competitiveness at the highest level.