Chelsea continue to remain in talks with Atalanta to sign Frank Kessie, but the Blues may be forced to wait until the summer before the move is completed

English media outlet The Guardian have reported that Premier League leaders Chelsea are still in talks with Atalanta with a view to sign midfielder Frank Kessie in January. However, the club may have to wait until the summer transfer window opens later this year to complete the transfer.

20-year-old Frank Kessie has made waves all over Europe this season. Having spent the 2015/16 season on loan at Cesena, the Ivory Coast international has established himself as a key figure for Atalanta in the centre of the park this season.

Kessie has contributed with the goals as well, having scored six times and has appeared in all but two games in Serie A for Atalanta.

Atalanta's midfielder from Ivory Coast Franck Kessie (L) vies with AC Milan forward of Italy Gianluca Lapadula during the Serie A football match AC Milan vs Atalanta at San Siro Stadium in Milan on December 17, 2016. (Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Atalanta’s midfielder from Ivory Coast Franck Kessie (L) vies with AC Milan forward of Italy Gianluca Lapadula during the Serie A football match AC Milan vs Atalanta at San Siro Stadium in Milan on December 17, 2016. (Photo courtesy Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

The Nerazzurri are in contention for a place in the Champions League, sitting sixth on the table with 32 points and only three behind third-placed Napoli, which is the reason why Atalanta are averse to the idea of selling Kessie in January.

Indeed, Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini has iterated the same, saying that he is against the idea of selling any player in January: “I am not worried as I don’t think that any player will leave in January. The club have every intention to keep the players until June and we may even strengthen.”

Chelsea have already made their intentions to sign Kessie clear, after submitting a €25 million bid for the Ivorian a couple of weeks back to get a head start over the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona. However, the Blues had their bid rejected as Kessie’s agent confirmed that Atalanta value him in the region of €35m-€40m.

For Chelsea, the acquisition of Kessie will see them add reinforcements in midfield, with options running thin. Antonio Conte currently has just N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas and Nathaniel Chalobah to choose from, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek expected to leave on loan.

Chelsea manager Conte is known to be an admirer of Kessie’s talents and he rates the midfielder highly. And even though the Italian is keen to acquire the services of the midfielder in January, he understands the concerns put forward by Atalanta and might be willing to wait until the reopening of the transfer window in the summer to complete the move.

Whenever the move gets completed though, Kessie represents a good long-term option for Chelsea with his superb defensive work rate, technical abilities and limitless stamina.

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