Kessié to join Barcelona: what will Ivorian bring to Xavi's midfield?
According to reports confirmed by AS, Barcelona have sealed the summer signing of AC Milan and Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessié on a free transfer.
Franck Kessié will play for Barcelona next season. Indeed, he has already signed his contract. That’s the news revealed by Spanish radio station Cadena SER on Tuesday, and since confirmed by AS. The Ivorian midfielder, who is out of contract at AC Milan at the end of the season, is Barça’s first signing for the 2022/23 campaign.
Christensen expected to follow Kessié to Barcelona
Barring any surprises, Kessié will be joined at the Camp Nou by central defender Andreas Christensen, who Barça president Joan Laporta is confident of snapping up on a free transfer from Chelsea.
The problems with Barça's wage budget - they were the only Spanish top-flight team to be handed a negative salary spending limit by LaLiga on Monday - have not stopped the Blaugrana from continuing to work on summer additions to Xavi Hernández’s squad.
In addition to London talks with Christensen, there has also been a trip to Munich to try to persuade top target Erling Braut Haaland to join from Borussia Dortmund.
But one man who has said yes to Barça, and signed on the dotted line, is Kessié. A player who has been one of the few consistently outstanding stars at Milan in recent seasons, the midfielder, 25, will arrive in Catalonia as he enters his peak years.
Kessié to add dynamism and versatility
A dynamic player with an excellent engine, Kessié has made 29 appearances for Milan this term, scoring six goals and supplying one assist. He will bring something different to a squad that already has a wealth of options in midfield, in Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Gavi and Nico. Xavi felt that Barça lacked a midfielder with Kessié’s versatility.
Having attended the youth academy at Ivorian club Stella, Kessié has spent his entire professional career in Italy. After signing for Atalanta in 2014, he joined Milan three years later, initially on loan.
He has won 52 caps for the Ivory Coast, scoring five times for Les Éléphants.