That’s according to a report by Spanish publication Sport (via Sport Witness), who claim that Fabio Paratici has now made contact with Barcelona regarding a move for the central midfielder, with Spurs believed to be keen on a loan deal that would include an option to buy the 25-year-old permanently at the end of the current campaign.
However, the report goes on to state that Tottenham are not alone in their interest in the Ivory Coast international, with Italian duo Inter Milan and Napoli said to have made contact with the midfielder’s agent about the possibility of a move, however, Sport suggest that it is Tottenham who are the ‘favourite’ to go on and complete a deal in January.
While it is true that, following his summer move from AC Milan, Kessié has somewhat struggled to break into Xavi’s starting XI at the Camp Nou – starting just two LaLiga fixtures so far this season – considering just how impressive the 25-year-old was during his time at the San Siro, it is not difficult to understand why Paratici would be keen on a move for the midfielder this winter.
Indeed, over his 37 Serie A appearances back in 2020/21, the £51.5m-rated talent was in devastating form for the Rossoneri, scoring 13 goals, registering four assists and creating five big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.3 shots, making 0.8 key passes and completing 1.2 dribbles – at a success rate of 80% – per game.
The Ivorian also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 1.4 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.3 clearances and winning 5.2 duels – at a success rate of 53% – per match, as well as playing an average of 2.8 long balls, 2.0 chipped passes and completing a total of 47.9 passes – at a success rate of 89% – per game.
These returns saw the player who Antonio Cassano dubbed “devastating” average a simply sensational Sofascore match rating of 7.18, not only ranking him as Stefano Pioli’s third-best performer in the league but also as the joint 26th-best player in the Italian top flight as a whole that year.
It was a similar story over Kessié’s 31 league outings in Milan’s title-winning campaign last season, with the £150k-per-week engine bagging six goals and creating two big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.1 shots, making 0.9 key passes and completing 1.1 dribbles – at a success rate of 73% – per game.
The 60-cap international also made an average of 1.3 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 0.7 clearances and won 4.4 duels – at a success rate of 55% – per match, as well as playing an average of 1.9 long balls, 1.2 chipped passes and completing a total of 37.6 passes – at a success rate of 88% – per fixture.
These metrics saw the 25-year-old who Ryan Haber labelled “absolutely unreal” average an extremely impressive Sofascore match rating of 7.07, ranking him as Milan’s ninth-best performer in Serie A last time out – playing a key role in his side’s title win.
As such, with Kessié’s clearly being something of a complete option in the middle of the park, it is no wonder why Antonio Conte would be keen on a deal to bring the Ivorian to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this winter, as the “beast” – in the words of Sacha Pisani – very much looks to be the type of player who could be devastating under the 53-year-old Italian.