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Southampton ready to rival Juventus for midfielder

According to reports in CalcioMercato.com (in Italian), Southampton face competition from Serie A champions Juventus in the race to sign Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie.

What’s the word, then?

As we gave the lowdown on on Thursday, the Saints are eyeing a January move for the highly-rated 19-year-old midfielder, who is one of the hottest young players in Europe right now having scored four goals in nine Serie A appearances this term.

Now, CalcioMercato.com are saying that Southampton are ready to meet the €15m (£13.3m) asking price that Atalanta may demand for the Ivory Coast international, although they might have to go head-to-head with Juventus for his signature.

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Would the player choose to move to the Premier League?

If Juventus are interested, probably not. The Italian giants can offer Champions League football and it is also believed that the player would like to continue in a league that he is thriving in, rather than start afresh in a new country.

However, money is more of an issue for Italian clubs, and they could struggle to match the fee and wages potentially on offer from Claude Puel’s side.

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What happens next?

Well, even though Kessie has enjoyed an impressive start to the campaign, scouts will be watching the young midfielder closely over the next couple of months to see if he is ready to make the step up as soon as January.

In addition, young Southampton players such as James Ward-Prowse and Harrison Reed will be looking to convince Puel that he doesn’t need to strengthen in midfield, and the former certainly did that with a fine showing in the 2-1 win against Inter Milan on Thursday.

Article title: Southampton ready to rival Juventus for midfielder

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