Franck Kessie: Getting closer to Barcelona

According to several reports from Europe, Barcelona are moving closer to signing AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie this summer. At the end of the season, Kessie, 25, is out of contract and has already told the Rossoneri that he will not be extending his five-year stay at San Siro.

As his contract ends this summer, many clubs have targeted the Ivory Coast midfielder. But now, he prefers a move to Barcelona, and the Catalan club can match his salary as per the reports. Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur were in contact with his surroundings. But now they might have to back off as Barcelona have the upper hand in signing him.

Barcelona had an outstanding winter transfer window as all the four players who came in January is contributing well to the club. Under Xavi, Barcelona have improved a lot, and now they will be looking at the options who could come as free agents to strengthen the squad for next season.

AC Milan Techincal Director Paolo Maldini’s reaction to the reports were normal, and from his words, it was pretty clear that the club would not offer a high salary for Kessie. On Barcelona’s interest, he said: “It’s normal, his contract is expiring and we don’t have an agreement yet. The stance is the one dictated by the club, we absolutely will not deviate from it.”

Kessie began his career in Stella Club d’Adjame, an Ivorian club, joining their youth setup in 2010. In 2014, he was promoted to the first team. A year later, Serie A club Atalanta signed him on a three-year deal. Upon his arrival, he was assigned to the club’s Primavera squad and contributed with seven appearances for the side. His first match in Europe occurred on 1 March, as he started in a 2–0 away win against AC Milan Primavera.

In the summer of 2015, he joined the Serie B club, Cesena, on a loan deal for one year. After returning from loan, Kessie was promoted to the first team by manager Gian Piero Gasperini. After appearing with the main squad during the pre-season, he made his debut for La Dea on 13 August 2016, starting and scoring the last in a 3–0 Coppa Italia home win against Cremonese. Six days later, he renewed his contract until 2021.

Kessie, who spent two years on loan at Milan from Atalanta before joining them permanently for 25 million euros in 2019, has made 163 Serie A appearances for the club and scored 34 league goals.

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