Barcelona have reportedly been handed a major blow in pursuit of Franck Kessie, who would prefer joining Real Madrid next summer.

According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Franck Kessie has instructed his agent to open talks with Real Madrid over a Bosman move in next summmer’s transfer window. The 24-year-old AC Milan midfielder is also being courted by Barcelona.

Franck Kessie has established himself as one of the best midfielders on show in Serie A since joining AC Milan from Atalanta in the summer of 2017. Initially signed on a two-year loan with an obligation to purchase him two years later, the Rossoneri would have no qualms over having had to sign him permanently in 2019.

Indeed, the 24-year-old, who has made 191 appearances while chipping in with 30 goals and 15 assists, has been a pivotal figure for AC Milan over the last four years, playing a key role in their return to the UEFA Champions League. However, the Italian giants are in a precarious situation over his future, with Kessie entering the final year of his contract. This has alerted Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Real Madrid appear to be in the market for a central midfield addition heading into the summer transfer window, as they look to lay down a succession plan for Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. Both Modric and Kroos have also been linked with a potential summer departure from the Santiago Bernabeu, which, in turn, could force Los Blancos’ hand further.

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In addition, there have been suggestions that Casemiro is a target for Paris Saint-Germain, though the relations between the French outfit and Real Madrid are increasingly strained. With that in mind, it is imperative that the Merengues bring in a versatile midfielder, making Kessie a viable target. The Ivorian, though, is also on bitter rivals Barcelona’s radar.

The interest from Barcelona is understandable as well, considering Sergio Busquets is approaching the final phase of his career. And Kessie, at 24, is at the perfect age to be the successor to the veteran midfielder. The two can initially share game-time before Kessie ends up becoming the first-choice midfielder.

However, the AC Milan midfielder prefers a move to Real Madrid instead of Barcelona and has even instructed his agent to begin negotiations over a Bosman move next summer. What now remains to be seen is if Barcelona can do anything to usurp Real Madrid in pursuit of Kessie or if he indeed ends up making his way to the Bernabeu.

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