The Lowdown: Kessie a long-term target
Kessie has been on Spurs’ radar for some time now and Antonio Conte is allegedly a big fan after giving the green light to a transfer back in November.
How many signings does Conte need to make in January?
The 25-year-old’s contract with AC Milan is set to expire at the end of June, meaning he could pen pre-contract terms with Spurs right now.
However, Tottenham seemingly want Kessie, who is currently away with the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, in the final days of the January window rather than the summer, and a key update has now emerged.
The Latest: Agreement reached, but there’s a twist
They claim that Fabio Paratici finally reached an agreement with AC Milan to sign Kessie immediately, but the midfielder, labelled as ‘devastating’ by Antonio Cassano, has turned down a January transfer.
He wants to see out his contract with the Italian giants and is focused on helping the club push for the Serie A title in the second half of the season.
The Verdict: Pre-contract terms required
If Kessie isn’t willing to join in the final days of the winter window, then Paratici should now be after the next best thing and look to seal a pre-contract agreement ahead of the summer.
That way, Spurs would be getting hold of an experienced and versatile midfielder who is valued at a whopping £43.2m – without spending a penny on a transfer fee – before what would be Conte’s first full season in charge.
Of course, that would mean Conte having to make do with what he has got for the remainder of the season, and the risk may be missing out on top four, but Kessie could be worth the wait. He has scored five times in 13 Serie A starts this term and shone for his nation at AFCON, scoring in a 3-1 win over holders Algeria last week.
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