English Premiership

Kante turned down offshore payments from Chelsea

N'golo Kante (Getty Images)
N'golo Kante (Getty Images)

Paris - France midfielder N'Golo Kante refused to have part of his Chelsea salary paid under advantageous tax terms in Jersey or to receive offshore payments for his image rights, according to a Football Leaks investigation published on Wednesday.

The report by French investigative site Mediapart says that six weeks before Kante left Leicester for Chelsea in 2016, a company called NK Promotions was registered in Jersey, in an apparent attempt to pay 10 percent of the players' income abroad to avoid tax.

Mediapart was unsure whether the company was set up by Chelsea or Kante's relatives.

At first, Kante's lawyer suggested his client would "approve" the set-up, but last year the 27-year-old insisted through his tax advisor that he refused to take any offshore payments.

"N'Golo is inflexible, he simply wants a normal salary," Kante's tax advisor said in May 2017 in an email sent to Chelsea executives.

"After reading numerous press articles on image rights and tax investigations against players and clubs, N'Golo is increasingly concerned that the set-up proposed to him could be questioned by the tax authorities.

"N'Golo decided that he did not want to take any risks."

Kante has become a fan favourite in England since winning a memorable Premier League title with Leicester in 2016, before lifting the trophy again the following season at Chelsea and being named PFA Player of the Year.

He also started all seven of France's matches as his country won the World Cup in Russia this year.

"I'm not surprised. He's just being N'Golo. Everything is perfect, he's not a cheater, except a little bit at card games," smiled Kante's international team-mate Blaise Matuidi at a press conference ahead of Friday's Nations League game against the Netherlands.

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