David Moyes must rue West Ham United not signing long-term target Franck Kessie in 2020, as the Premier League side now face a £43m price tag to land the AC Milan midfielder.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, via Milan Live, the San Siro outfit plan to lock Kessie down with a new contract, as the Ivory Coast international is an increasingly important pillar of Stefano Pioli’s side.
The 24-year-old has found the back of the net nine times and provided three assists to date, eclipsing the seven-goal haul achieved over 34 games in the 2018/19 term and creating the same volume of chances for his red-and-black shirted teammates.
But Kessie’s performances have not gone unnoticed across the continent, with West Ham plus London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur frequently showing an interest in the £69,000-per-week powerhouse.
The Premier League trio would also now face heightened competition if they look to launch efforts to sign Kessie at the end of the season with Real Madrid keen, but any side is likely to be met with a €50m (£43m) asking price.
Milan are very much loath to losing the 44-cap international, and it is added that they plan to extend his contract through to 2026 with his current terms set to expire next year.
News of Milan slapping a €50m valuation on Kessie will come as a hammer blow to West Ham in their long-running hope of bringing the midfield enforcer to the London Stadium.
It also makes the Irons’ decision not to sign the 6ft beast last summer a huge blunder, as reports by TEAMtalk claimed Kessie was on offer for around £25m and that the asking price had been set before the coronavirus pandemic changed the footballing landscape.
That valuation was backed up by reports by Calciomercato, via Football-Italia, later in the year, after they claimed that AC rebuffed Gennaro Gattuso’s intent to be reunited with Kessie at SSC Napoli through a €30m (£25.5m) asking rice.
West Ham would have likely faced competition from Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers, too, with the Molineux outfit also linked, but may have struck a deal with Milan for £18m less than they could now be obliged to pay if they still want the player.
It obviously remains to be seen if the Hammers are now willing to step forward and meet the Rossoneri’s demands, which would see Moyes acquire an engine room component lauded by those he works with.
“He never gets tired, he has an incredible energy,” Ismael Bennacer told MilanTV, via quotes by Football-Italia, earlier in the year. “We must take advantage of it.”