Tottenham Hotspur appear to be closing in on the first signing of the Antonio Conte era, according to reports in Italy…
Sportitalia journalist and transfer expert Rudy Galetti claims Spurs have reached an agreement to sign AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie on a free transfer, with his contract due to expire at the San Siro at the end of the season.
Any deal won’t be officially complete until January when the 48-time Ivory Coast international is free to sign a pre-contract with teams outside of Italian football.
“Close agreement between [George] #Atangana and the #Tottenham for [Franck] #Kessie. Engagement from €10M per season for the del #Milan and max commission for the agent,” he tweeted.
The 24-year-old is currently valued at a whopping €40m (£34m) by CIES Football Observatory, so this could be quite the bargain and coup from Fabio Paratici and co.
Kessie has been an absolute beast for Milan in recent seasons and he could seriously bolster Conte’s engine room, albeit next season.
After finishing the 2020/21 campaign as their second-highest goalscorer on 13 goals – only Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring more (15) – the box-to-box monster currently ranks amongst Stefano Pioli’s top-six for average WhoScored rating (7.04).
Across the past 14 months or so, Kessie has been solid in defence, managing an average of at least 1.5 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per 90 minutes in the Serie A and equally a threat in the final third.
On top of scoring goals, he’s managed to drive the ball forward with at least 1.5 dribbles per 90 minutes, as well as averaging at least 0.9 key passes and 1.1 shots per 90 too, as per WhoScored.
This unique skill set would hand Conte a very reliable option in the heart of midfield, particularly given his preferred formation, in which he will need someone capable of pulling the strings both defensively and offensively.
In the past, Kessie has been dubbed “devastating” by ex-Milan striker Antonio Cassano and “extraordinary” by his former AC head coach Vincenzo Montella, which only goes to show just how highly thought of he is by those that have been around him.
So with Spurs closing in on the 6-foot powerhouse, Paratici is on the verge of sealing Conte a remarkable star and that should leave both him and the fanbase absolutely delighted.