Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie who will be a free agent next summer. Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo, via The Sun have reported the transfer news, which is interesting to say the least.
United will need to find a defensive midfielder ahead of the 2022/23 season despite needing to sign one this summer to balance the midfield with Nemanja Matic the only experienced player in this position at the club, even with Scott McTominay, who has excelled in the position – but it is not the position he plays in the best.
It is expected that Paul Pogba, 28, will leave the Old Trafford club in the summer on the expiry of his current contract, which is rumoured to be in discussion to be renewed but there are also reports that suggest the player could leave the Theatre of Dreams after six years back at the club. Kessie is a good option for United but there will be a number of clubs interested in signing him as a free agent.
It is reported that Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool all have an interest in the player with some especially keen if he does end up running his contract down and leaving the Italian club as a free agent.
Providing he does not sign a new contract at the San Siro, Kessie will be eligible to speak to foreign clubs from the 1 January 2022, just like Pogba and could sign a pre-contract agreement to join a club outside of Italy from the 1 July 2022, which would be a good deal for the 24-year-old.
United are said to be interested in West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice but it is suggested that the club will see a price possibly higher than £100 million for the player next summer as they intend to keep him – although he is also a target for Chelsea, a club he was once part of the academy of, which suggests he could be interested in returning to the club, if he leaves.
Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is also reported to be a target of United but Kessie could be a cost-effective signing if the Old Trafford club were able to get it done. There is a suggestion that his wages demands could be as little as £130,000 a week, which is good for the type of player but this will only further the interest of other clubs who are interested in signing the player.
This would make it much harder for United to get a deal completed. It all depends on what the player wants to achieve and whether United could deliver those options. There is a chance that United’s 2021/22 season results could propel the club as a better option than other.
If United end up challenging for the Premier League title this season, they will become more marketable for new signings in the summer but the lure should be good enough with the players that United currently have at the club with Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and David De Gea, amongst others.
I would say Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani but at this time, they will both be out of contract with the club in the summer, therefore, at this time, have no future plans at the club.
Kessie has two international teammates at United currently with Eric Bailly, who recently signed a new contract and Amad Diallo, who joined the club in January 2021. This could be a boost for United as it will be easier for the player to settle in at the club. His contract expires at the end of June 2022 and there is a chance that he could sign a new contract in Milan.
This season, Kessie has made three appearances for his club, two in the defensive midfield position and one in central midfield. He has yet to score or assist a goal. Last season (2020/21), Kessie made 50 appearances in all competitions, scoring 13 goals and assisting a further six – which is a good rate of goals and assists from the midfield.
Of the 50 appearances he made for Milan, Kessie played in the defensive midfield position 37 times, scoring 11 goals and all six assists, also playing in the central midfield position 13 times, scoring three goals from there. It shows that he is more effective in the defensive midfield position, which is good for United.
Formerly of Cesena FC, in the third tier of Italian football, then signing for Atalanta before moving to Milan, Kessie seems to have a good pedigree in the game. The 24-year-old is a physical and mobile body in the midfield and will not lunge into tackles and will strive to win the ball with his determination.
He is a defensive player but has the ability and the guile to attack and the footballing mind to read the game and deliver at least one shot or key pass every 90 minutes, which is a good attribute to his game. United will be seeking a player with energy who will deliver for the club and his teammates and that could be Kessie.
Written by John Walker