Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly leading the race to sign Franck Kessie, as relays the FFC.
That’s according to Italian outlet Calciomercato, who claim the 25-year-old midfielder is yet to agree on a contract extension at Serie A giants AC Milan and with his current deal set to expire in the summer, he could depart the San Siro for nothing.
Spurs are among the Premier League teams chasing his signature and are the favourites to seal him, whilst Paris Saint-Germain are also interested.
Kessie is free to speak to teams outside of Italy from January, meaning the north London outfit could secure a pre-contract agreement with the 52-time Ivory Coast international, who is currently valued at €30m (£26m) by CIES Football Observatory.
Whilst manager Antonio Conte may have to wait until next season to see the talents of Kessie in action, he would still be a mighty fine addition to his engine room.
The bustling midfield enforcer could well bring shades of Mousa Dembele back to N17. He’s capable of being an absolute rock defensively with his big physical attributes, whilst also being able to drive forward with the ball. He even has a goal or two in him, too.
Among Milan’s three best performers in the Serie A this season, Kessie has scored five goals in 13 starts, to add to his 13 goals last term.
Meanwhile, since the start of the 2020/21 campaign, he’s averaged at least 1.3 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.9 dribbles and 0.8 key passes, via WhoScored, which shows his influence at both ends of the pitch.
Such consistent form has led to high praise indeed.
His former Rossoneri boss Vincenzo Montella once lauded him as an “extraordinary player” with “sublime intelligence”, whilst ex-Milan frontman Antonio Cassano likened him to Yaya Toure and dubbed him “devastating.”
I want Kessie in my team, he scores, he assists, he has personality, he has quality, he doesn’t lose the ball, he’s intelligent. I’m watching him carefully, with Roma it was devastating,” he said. “It reminds me of the Yaya Toure of the best times. He is a different player, but in terms of impact. He is holding Milan’s midfield alone.”
You could argue that Spurs have lacked that sort of physical ball-carrying beast in the heart of their midfield for quite some time and it would appear that Kessie seems a perfect fit to solve that lingering problem.
Therefore, it would make sense for sporting director Fabio Paratici to push ahead to try and land the Ivorian machine over some of their biggest rivals.
It would be an absolute steal, not having to pay a transfer fee, and in Kessie, the Lilywhites could well discover their next Dembele – a mouth-watering prospect indeed.