After playing an integral role in helping AC Milan win the Serie A title in 2021/22, Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie could return to Italy. Not only that, he could return to the city of Milan, though this time as an Inter player.
The Nerazzurri are in the market for a new midfielder after reports regarding Marcelo Brozovic’s future at the club being in doubt. Both Inter and Barcelona could be willing to discuss a mutually beneficial deal involving both Kessie and Brozovic in the summer.
Franck Kessie’s Barcelona contract issues
Kessie joined Barcelona in last summer’s transfer window and is now expected to leave the club at the end of just one season given the Catalan club’s persistent financial issues and a lack of real impact on the pitch, as reported by Il Corriere dello Sport (via FCInternews).
Officials from the Catalan giants were reported to have met with the 26-year-old and asked him to reduce his €6.5 million per year salary in an attempt to assist the club in reducing their current economic woes. It has been said that this was met ‘negatively’ by the midfielder, given little has changed at the club in the one season that he has been there. Kessie and his representatives deny that this has occurred, though.
The midfielder’s time at Barcelona so far hasn’t been headline-making, barring the recent late winner in El Clasico against Real Madrid, with Kessie only starting 14 times across all competitions. Therefore, if a club were to match the rumoured evaluation of the player at around €30 million, Barcelona wouldn’t rule out a sale, particularly as he was signed as a free agent just last summer.
It seems like the solution will be that the Ivorian is listed for sale in the coming transfer window and reports from the local media suggest that as of present, the club most interested is Inter.
Inter’s Brozovic Replacement?
Il Corriere dello Sport report highlighted that the clubs may be interested in structuring the deal as a swap involving Franck Kessie and Marcelo Brozovic, rather than a straight purchase by Inter. Barcelona are certainly open to cost-effective deals.
The Croatian midfielder has seen few minutes recently for Inter with Simone Inzaghi preferring Hakan Calhanoglu in the middle of the midfield three over the 30-year-old, given his underwhelming performances and injury issues this season.
With the Nerazzurri reportedly open to selling the once-untouchable Brozovic, a potential deal could be on the cards given Barcelona’s interest in the midfielder, with coach Xavi Hernandez seeing the player as a like-for-like replacement for club icon, Sergio Busquets.
Any deal could be reliant on whether Inter qualify for the Champions League next season, given they have their own financial difficulties to contend with.