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SPORTS UPDATE

Barcelona make €6m contract offer for midfielder Kessie

AC Milan technical director, Paulo Maldini, has confirmed Barcelona’s interest in signing Franck Kessie in the summer. The Ivory Coast midfielder has just under four months remaining on his current deal and has refused to sign an extension with the Serie A giants thus far.

The 25-year-old joined Milan initially on a two-year loan from Atalanta, before the Serie A club made his move permanent in 2019. The Ivorian has been impressive during his five seasons in Italy, which has attracted interest from a number of clubs across Europe.

Xavi, according to Spanish publication Sport, wants to bring Kessie to the Camp Nou to bolster his midfield and increase competition for places. The Catalan club have been in contact with the Ivory Coast international’s agents and are said to have made an offer worth €6 million per season.

Maldini is aware of Barcelona’s interest and is keen to keep Kessie at the San Siro beyond this summer. But the Azzuri legend has made it clear that the club will not bend over backwards for the midfielder – in terms of offering over-the-top wages to convince him to stay.

“Barça’s interest in Kessie? It’s normal, his contract is about to expire and we still don’t have an agreement. The stance is the one dictated by the club, we absolutely will not deviate from it,” Maldini said.

Barcelona’s cash problems are crippling their ability to compete financially with top clubs in Europe, thus they are trying to get a march on them when it comes to top quality soon-to-be free agents. The La Liga giants are not the only club trying to lure Kessie, with English Premier League outfits Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool also on the hunt.

However, Kessie is said to prefer a move to Spain with Barcelona his first choice over other interested suitors. The Milan midfielder has thus far made 20 appearances in the Serie A for Stefano Pioli’s side. He has contributed five goals with the team currently tied on points with league leaders Napoli.

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