Wolves hold an advantage in the race to sign AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, according to reports from Italian media.
The print edition of Tuttosport claimed [via Sport Witness] that the Molineux club and Monaco are in the strongest position to sign the 22-year-old, although Napoli are also keen on the Ivory Coast international.
That report was published despite Wolves’ chief scout John Marshall telling Tuttomercatoweb last week that “There was an interest but there was never a real negotiation” involving Kessie during the summer.
Tuttosport‘s claim [via Sport Witness] that Wolves and Monaco are the front-runners for Kessie’s signature may suggest that Jorge Mendes could hold the key to the 22-year-old possibly coming to Molineux.
His Gestifute agency represents Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo and five current Wolves players, as well as Monaco’s Gil Dias, while several of his clients (including Wolves’ Joao Moutinho) were formerly with the Ligue 1 club – Fabinho, Bernardo Silva and James Rodriguez are all ex-Monaco players.
Although Kessie is not part of Mendes’ agency, Sport Witness claimed that it “doesn’t exclude there being a connection somewhere” between the player and agent, while Marshall’s claims that there was “an interest” from Wolves in the midfielder could indicate that they have not shut the door on pursuing him.
Has Adama Traore been Wolves' best player this season?
The Molineux club have already done business with AC Milan in recent months, signing Patrick Cutrone from the Serie A outfit in July, and he wasn’t their only addition from the Italian top flight during the summer – Pedro Neto and Bruno Jordao both came from Lazio. [via TransferMarkt]
Another reason why Wolves might not rule out signing Kessie is the reported interest in Ruben Neves from Juventus, as per Calciomercato. Although Marshall told Tuttomercatoweb last week that the Portugal midfielder is “not for sale”, the resolve of player and club may be tested if the Serie A champions are persistent enough in their approach.
In that case, Wolves could be braced for losing Neves over the next year and may try to push through a deal for Kessie as an insurance policy against the potential departure of the Portuguese.
Having seemingly come close to signing him a few months ago, they could well be tempted to try their luck again in January and might call on the persuasiveness of Mendes to get the deal over the line, with the agent’s clients Neves, Moutinho, Neto, Diogo Jota and Rui Patricio all coming to Molineux over the last couple of years.
And the 22 year-old’s well-rounded displays this season suggest he could be a long-term successor for Moutinho – he averages 1.1 shots, 1.1 key passes, 1 dribble and 1.6 tackles per game in Serie A, while also competing 87% of his passes, per Whoscored.
At 33, Moutinho will not be able to play week in week out in Nuno’s system much longer, so a move for an all-action midfielder with experience in the Europa League seems an excellent ploy from the Midlands club.
Wolves fans, do you think the club have a good chance of signing Kessie in January? Have your say by commenting below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience