Chelsea are reportedly interested in AC Milan midfield mainstay Franck Kessie, who is entering the final year of his contract with the Serie A giants.

According to a report from Italian outlet Pianeta Milan, Premier League bigwigs Chelsea could be plotting a raid on AC Milan for the signing of midfield powerhouse Franck Kessie, who is ‘in the orbit’ of the Blues.

Kessie has been with Milan for four years now, having signed from fellow Serie A outfit Atalanta in 2017. Initially brought in on a two-year loan deal, the 24-year-old’s transfer was made permanent in the summer of 2019. And, during his time with the Rossoneri, he has grown into one of the best central midfielders on display in the Italian top-flight.

A powerful box-to-box operator, Kessie is an excellent ball-carrier, can contribute with goals and is always at hand to help out defensively. His energy and dynamism have made the Ivory Coast international an indispensable member of Stefano Pioli’s roster, with the midfielder clocking 50 appearances in the 2020/21 season, scoring 14 goals and setting up six more.

Kessie’s contract with Milan, though, expires in a year, which has led to speculations surrounding his future. There has been recent interest from the Premier League in his services, with Tottenham said to be lining up a summer swoop. Now, Chelsea, too, have shown a keenness in the 24-year-old Ivorian, as per the aforementioned report.

Franck Kessie is one of Milan's most important players. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)

Franck Kessie is one of Milan’s most important players. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea have N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho as their primary options in the middle of the park, following the loan exit of Billy Gilmour. While the likes of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley, among others, are back from their loan spells, they are unlikely to have a future at Stamford Bridge and could be staring at exits this summer.

So, there is room for adding another central midfielder for Thomas Tuchel & co. More so, considering that N’Golo Kante did have some injury problems in the last season. While they have also been heavily linked with a move for Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez of late, someone like Kessie could prove to be a better fit in Tuchel’s high-intensity system.

The Ivory Coast international would be the ideal replacement for Kante, who is 30 and will see his contract run down in a couple of years. However, the report does add that Kessie, as things stand, wants to stay put at AC Milan and is not thinking about an exit. But, Chelsea will continue to keep close tabs on the situation, ready to swoop in should contract negotiations do not go as per plans.

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