Tottenham open bidding with £13m Paratici offer lodged for Barcelona midfield outcast

Franck Kessie and Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona Credit: Alamy
Franck Kessie and Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona Credit: Alamy

Tottenham have made an offer of £13m to sign Barcelona outcast Franck Kessie, according to reports.

The defensive midfielder has struggled to break into Xavi’s starting 11 since joining from AC Milan in the summer and it looks like an early departure is on the cards.

Antonio Conte is keen to add more quality to his midfield, so this is a move that could be positive for all parties if Kessie fancies the switch to London.

The Italian manager is very familiar with Kessie, after coming up against him in multiple derby matches as manager of Inter Milan.

Spurs seem keen to take advantage of the Ivorian’s current situation, with Onda Cero claiming that their offer of £13m for Kessie has a good chance of being successful.

Barcelona signed the 26-year-old on a free transfer six months ago, after putting in consistently solid performances for the Rossoneri.

Last season, he was one of AC Milan’s best players, featuring 31 times as they lifted their first Serie A title since 2011.

In an impressive three-year stint with the club, Kessie played 223 times for the Italian champions, scoring 37 goals and making 16 assists in total.

Despite being a top performer for Milan, at Barca, Kessie has started just two games in LaLiga so far, seemingly behind the likes of Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Gavi and the veteran Sergio Busquets in the pecking order.

While it may seem odd to see a player depart just six months into a new four-year contract, from a financial perspective, it could make sense for the Catalans.

Barcelona‘s financial issues are well documented in recent years, while they now have the added blow of an early exit from the Champions League to deal with.

Given Kessie arrived on a free, any money from a sale would be 100% profit for Xavi’s team.

Kessie could be another Spurs ex-Serie A success story

For Tottenham, it could be a potentially smart buy, adding another quality midfielder to their ranks alongside the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur.

Yves Bissouma, on the other hand, has failed to impress the Spurs faithful so far, which could be a key reason for Conte targeting his former rival.

Oliver Skipp is more of a prospect too, while youngster Pape Matar Sarr has impressed in recent friendly matches, but isn’t ready for the Premier League quite yet.

Conte has a track record of bringing ex-Serie A players to Spurs, too, with Dejan Kulusevski, Cristian Romero and Ivan Perisic all playing well this season.

However, while Kessie would add some quality cover to Hojbjerg and Bentancur, the question for the midfielder is: why would he leave Barcelona just to sit on the bench somewhere else?

As mentioned, Kessie has played just 485 minutes for Barca so far, but given Hojbjerg and Bentancur’s excellent form at the moment, it’s hard to see that number improving much in London unless Conte changes to a three-man midfield.

Nevertheless, we know that Barcelona have a habit of forcing unwanted players out of the club in recent years, so it may be out of Kessie’s hands… especially if they need the transfer funds to do their own business this winter.

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