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“A player I like”- Barcelona manager confirms Tottenham target will not leave this month

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Xavi confirms Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal target Franck Kessie is staying at Barcelona

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has dealt a decisive blow to Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal in their hopes of signing Franck Kessie.

The two teams have been linked with a move for the Ivory Coast midfielder after his difficult start to the season. He moved to Spotify Camp Nou on a free transfer last summer from AC Milan.

However, he has failed to grab a foothold on the first team under Xavi. With just 272 minutes in the league this season, he is clearly low in the club’s midfield pecking order.

 Franck Kessie of FC Barcelona battles for possession with Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid.
Franck Kessie of FC Barcelona battles for possession with Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Xavi evidently prefers to play Gavi, Pedri, Sergio Busquets, and Frenkie de Jong ahead of him. Hence, a move to Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs – two teams who could do with adding a quality central midfielder to their ranks – made sense.

Kessi to stay at Barca

However, Xavi has confirmed that the player will stay at Barcelona, at least in the January transfer window. He said (h/t Evening Standard):

“I’ve never considered Kessié’s departure. Kessié is a player I like, he gives us many variants in a game and he can be really important.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of FC Barcelona celebrates with Franck Kessie - August 2022.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of FC Barcelona celebrates with Franck Kessie – August 2022. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

It makes sense from the Spanish manager’s perspective. Barcelona would be unwise to offload him given that an injury to one of their first-team midfielders could call Kessie into action on a more regular basis.

Moreover, Sergio Busquets seems like he is in the twilight of his playing career. Kessie, 26, could have been a fine addition to this Tottenham team.

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Given that he was signed for nothing last summer, fans would have hoped that the allure of making a profit in transfer fees would have turned Barcelona’s head. But it seems we’ll have to look elsewhere for a midfielder – if we plan to sign any.

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