Inter Milan have set their sights on Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Ivory Coast international spent five years with the Serie A club’s rivals AC Milan, helping them win the Scudetto last season. He moved to Spain on a free transfer.
The 26-year-old signed a four-year deal with Barcelona, who wanted to add physicality to their midfield.
However, he has struggled to get game time in Xavi Hernandez’s side. He has become a second-string option for the Catalans, and he is reportedly unhappy.
Kessie has made only 12 appearances for Barcelona in La Liga this season, starting two.
Inter have now turned their attention to Kessie and will try to sign him this summer. The La Liga club will demand a transfer fee.
It is unclear how much Barcelona would demand if they decide to sell Kessie, but they will try to pull in as much cash as possible due to their financial predicament.
Inter have snapped up former players of their rivals on several occasions. They took Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on free transfers following the expiration of their deals with AS Roma.
The Nerazzurri also signed Hakan Calhanoglu on a free transfer after he left the club as a free agent. It sparked a war between the Turkish international and Milan fans. Kessie could be next.
Kessie is a dominant box-to-box midfielder that commands proceedings through the centre. He is an adept passer who possesses a terrific long-range shot.
With Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Frenkie De Jong, and Gavi ahead of him in the pecking order, Kessie may consider leaving.
Chelsea considered a loan deal for Kessie when searching for a midfielder last month in the transfer window but signed top target Enzo Fernandez instead.
Kessie will likely have suitors when the summer transfer market opens. He is a highly-regarded leader within the dressing room, earning the nickname Il Presidente during his spell in Milan.
It helps Inter in their pursuit that he knows the city, stadium and culture. This deal is one to monitor during the next transfer window.
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