AC Milan star Franck Kessie could be available on a free transfer next summer, and Chelsea and Tottenham have emerged favourites for his signature.

According to Italian journalist Claudio Raimondi, via Calciomercato, Chelsea and Tottenham are leading the way to sign Franck Kessie on a free transfer next summer if there’s no progress over a new contract with AC Milan. The Ivorian midfielder has become a key part of this Rossoneri side, but the Italian side’s inability to tie him down to a new deal could come back to bite them.

AC Milan might have started their season with two wins, but their workings behind the scenes with player contracts have cost them dearly over the summer. The Rossoneri lost key stars to free transfers, highlighted by the departures of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu this past summer.

The trend could continue further with another one of their key stars heading towards free agency at the end of the season. Franck Kessie, who has become an integral part of the Milan side is set to be out of contract in June 2022, with top clubs already circling around for his signature.

While the contract situation was obvious this summer, Liverpool, Tottenham and even Real Madrid showed an interest in brokering a cut-price move, but Milan confidently held on to the Ivorian. Reports are emerging Tottenham might take charge of proceedings by tabling a bumper pre-contract offer to Kessie in January to sign him up on a free transfer in June.

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However, their rivals, Chelsea have reportedly stolen the march over others and could make a substantial offer for the Ivorian’s services. The Blues, given their current stature in club football, could become an attractive option for Kessie, while Milan may be outpriced in a bid to keep the midfielder at San Siro.

Milan, like most Italian clubs, are facing financial difficulties, which could prevent them from matching contract offers on the table from Premier League clubs. The report claims that Chelsea could be willing to hand Kessie a €7-8 million-a-year deal, excluding bonuses, something that Tottenham could match. Milan, however, are only prepared to hand him €7 million per season, including bonuses.

Kessie has become an integral part of this AC Milan team since joining the club in 2017 from Atalanta. Last season was his most prolific, as he scored 13 goals in Serie A. Chelsea could add him to a stable of quality midfielders at the club including Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and the latest loan arrival Saul Niguez, while Tottenham could potentially see him as an upgrade over Tanguy Ndombele.

It now remains to be seen if AC Milan are able to convince Kessie to sign a new deal or end up losing another of their prized assets in a Bosman deal.

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