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Report: Antonio Conte’s favoured option to strengthen Tottenham Hotspur midfield

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Franck Kessie is Antonio Conte’s favoured option to strengthen Tottenham Hotspur midfield

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte favours a move for 26-year-old Barcelona misfit Franck Kessie, as per Italian outlet La Repubblica (Subscription Required).

The former Juventus and Inter Milan manager must have seen Kessie up close during his time in Italy. The Ivory Coast international spent seven-and-a-half years in Italy before he left the country to join Barcelona on a free transfer last summer.

Since then, the move hasn’t gone exactly to plan for Kessie, at least. Barca would have signed him knowing manager Xavi Hernandez, at least for now, prefers Sergio Busquets, Gavi, and Pedri in his line-up.

Transfer News: Tottenham Hotspur consider January move for AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.
Franck Kessie had a fruitful spell at AC Milan.

This is without considering the fact that they have a world-class central midfielder in Frenkie de Jong. Kessie, as a result, has been restricted to playing just 212 minutes of league football spread across seven games this term.

A smart signing?

He signed a four-year-long contract when he arrived at Camp Nou (Transfermarkt), which means there is no way Spurs can hope to get a deal Barca got with him this summer.

They will have to cough up some cash if they want him. As per Onda Cero (h/t Football.London), Tottenham had made an offer of £13million but it remains to be seen if Barca and Kessie are on board with such a move.

Franck Kessie is Antonio Conte's favoured option to strengthen Tottenham Hotspur midfield
Franck Kessie is struggling for playing time at Barcelona. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb (h/t Football.London) have claimed that Kessie does not want to leave the club despite their willingness to offload him. The transfer is a no-go if Tottenham cannot convince him to join the club.

He would have joined Barcelona with certain ambitions and it’s hard to imagine that changing within half a season. Moreover, Kessie would be aware of the competition that entails once you join a team of their stature.

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It seems like a tough road to signing Kessie. Even if Barca are on board, it will take a concerted effort if Conte, Daniel Levy, and Fabio Paratici are to convince Kessie to move to N17, where he will also not be guaranteed a starting berth given Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur’s presence.

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