Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger revealed he tried to sign N’Golo Kante before the midfielder’s move to Chelsea.
Kante joined the Blues last summer in a £32m deal having been a key figure in Leicester’s shock Premier League title victory.
The France international was previously with unheralded Caen, before being scouted by Leicester’s Steve Walsh, now director of football at Everton.
And when asked if he had ever tried to sign Kante, Wenger said: “Yes, when he was in France [and] when he was at Leicester.
“We cannot explain absolutely everything [about why it didn’t happen] but it’s quite obvious when you look where he has gone.
“Transfers are transfers, you cannot explain absolutely everything.”
Aside from Mark Schwarzer, who played bit-part roles in the Chelsea and Leicester teams of the last two seasons, Kante could become the first regularly featuring player to claim back-to-back Premier League winners’ medals with different clubs.
And Wenger believes Kante’s presence in both sides has been a key factor in their successes.
“I watched Chelsea’s game against Liverpool [on Tuesday]. N’Golo Kante had a huge impact in that team.
“It’s not coincidence that they are in the position they are and that Leicester were in the position they were last year.”