Aston Villa manager Unai Emery could land his first big signing at the Midlands club by securing a deal for Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie in the upcoming January transfer window, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
The Lowdown: Villa linked with Kessie
Earlier this month, a report from Spain claimed that Villa and a fellow Premier League side, Fulham, could look to sign Kessie in January, with Emery looking to bolster his midfield.
Since joining the Spanish club back in July on a free transfer from AC Milan, the midfielder has gone on to make 13 appearances for Xavi’s side across La Liga and the Champions League, but has only started five times.
In terms of a potential early exit from Barcelona, where he is currently picking up £150k-per-week, to join the Villans in January, O’Rourke shared his thoughts on the prospect.
The Latest: O’Rourke assesses potential Kessie transfer
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, O’Rourke had this to say about Kessie and the possibility of seeing Villa sign him in January.
He said: “He would be a big-name signing. Obviously, he had a very successful time at AC Milan and then moved to Barcelona in the summer on a free transfer.
“That move hasn’t worked out so, if he’s not going to be playing in the Barcelona team, maybe they will be willing to get a quick profit by selling him because they signed him on a free transfer.”
The Verdict: A decision for Emery
Given the lack of regular playing time that Kessie has had since arriving at Barcelona, it’s easy to see why O’Rourke thinks the club may be willing to cash in on the player in January.
Looking back over his previous Serie A campaign with Milan, the Ivorian ended the season with the third-highest number of passes into the final third of the pitch (102), midfield tackles (24) and recoveries at the club (183).
This highlights how much of a useful midfield figure he can be in and out of possession and what he’d be able to offer the Villans.
In terms of a potential move to Villa, it seems that a decision will have to be made from Emery over whether or not he thinks the Barcelona misfit would be a good addition to his squad.