Newcastle United are reportedly among the five clubs that are targeting a summer move for AC Milan star Franck Kessie, along with Liverpool and Barcelona.
According to the print edition of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, as relayed by Milan News, Newcastle United have entered the race to sign AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie on a free transfer in the summer. The Ivory Coast international is also a top target for Liverpool and Barcelona.
Kessie joined AC Milan in 2017 from Atalanta. Having arrived on a two-year loan deal, the midfielder quickly established himself as a permanent mixture in the centre of the pitch for the Rossoneri, who signed him on a permanent deal in 2019. The 25-year-old has been key to the club’s resurgence under Stefano Pioli in recent times.
However, the powerful midfielder, who has made over 200 appearances for Milan, could be on his way soon. Kessie’s contract stands to run out in June, and talks over an extension have not gone smoothly. As things stand, it seems certain that the former Atalanta prospect will move on in the summer, with top clubs across Europe queuing up to sign him.
Liverpool and Barcelona have been long-term admirers of Kessie, but now Newcastle United have also thrown their hat in the ring to capture his services. The Magpies, backed by their new cash-rich owners, are planning to go big in the summer transfer window, provided they survive the drop from the Premier League, the chances of which have increased substantially of late.
The central midfield department is an area that manager Eddie Howe is keen on strengthening, despite splashing the cash on Bruno Guimaraes in the summer. The likes of Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock have not been performing well enough, while Miguel Almiron has also blown hot and cold.
Adding someone like Kessie into the mix could elevate the squad to a whole new level. The AC Milan powerhouse is known for his ball-winning and ball-carrying capabilities. He has also been contributing with goals from midfield over the past eighteen months. Having a midfield combination of the Ivorian along with Guimaraes and Jonjo Shelvey would be an enticing prospect for Newcastle.
However, the Magpies will need to battle Liverpool, who are still looking for a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum. Furthermore, with there being question marks over the future of Naby Keita, a new central midfielder would be needed at Anfield next season, with Kessie emerging as a viable target.
Barcelona have held a long-standing interest in the AC Milan superstar. It was recently claimed that they had decided to end their pursuit of the midfielder due to his wage demands. However, the aforementioned report states that the Catalans are still in the mix to sign Kessie, who would add a different flavour to the midfield department at Camp Nou.
Apart from these three clubs, AC Milan’s local rivals, Inter Milan, and French giants Paris Saint-Germain also hold an interest in Kessie. So, Newcastle will have their task cut out if they wish to land the 25-year-old before next season starts.