If a report from the Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport is believed to be true, Liverpool have identified Franck Kessie as one of their summer transfer targets. The Reds have tabled a fascinating personal offer for the AC Milan star, and the same has been cited by journalist Claudio Ramondi live on Sport Mediaset (via Sportwitness).
The 24-year-old Ivorian joined Atalanta back in January 2015. A loan move to Cesena was sanctioned later that summer, and a stellar show in Serie B earned him a place in Gian Piero Gasperini’s first-team plans. He enjoyed an impressive 2016-17 campaign in the middle of the park, and the Rossoneri jumped in to secure his services on an initial two-year loan with the obligation to buy (€28m).
Kessie has been irreplaceable in the past four years, and Milan, therefore, are working on a new deal to retain him beyond the upcoming term. They are ready to offer him €6m net per year, whereas Liverpool are willing to pay €8m per annum wages to meet his economic demands.
The exit of Georginio Wijnaldum has left a void in the centre of the pitch, and the Merseysiders must rope in a new name who can emulate the Dutchman’s impact in their three-man midfield. Despite 51 appearances last season across competitions, Liverpool opted not to meet his contract ultimatum and let him leave for Paris St-Germain on a Bosman transfer.
Milan underwent turmoil in the recent past but overcame the hurdles one after another to reclaim a place among the European elites. They had to wait seven long years for Champions League qualification, and Kessie’s resurgence under Stefano Pioli deserves a lot of appreciation. The Côte d’Ivoire international has shown great fitness over the years with rare injury problems. Also, his physicality, concentration and passing sense depict an all-round ability to dominate the midfield game.
Why Liverpool Should Step Up The Chase For Franck Kessie
Liverpool are well equipped centrally but, at the same time, might encounter a few concerns in the coming days. The rumours over Jordan Henderson’s contract are alarming as the club are looking to replace their ageing stars gradually. James Milner is in his mid-thirties, and the fitness woes of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are well documented. Young Curtis Jones has developed well with a great amount of first-team opportunities, but the 20-year-old is not ready yet to deliver week in, week out at the level required to win the Premier League.
Kessie is currently representing his nation in the ongoing Olympics football and has settled in really well in Italy since leaving Ivory Coast. Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara must be desperate to keep hold of their prized asset, and the Merseyside giants might have to work very hard to lure in the Milan ace.