Premier League • England

AC Milan turn to Chelsea star as replacement for Barcelona-bound Franck Kessie

Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic of Chelsea

AC Milan are hoping to land a Chelsea midfielder to replace Barcelona-bound Franck Kessie, according to a report.

Kessie has run down his contract with Milan and is now able to leave as a free agent in the summer. Arsenal, Tottenham and Aston Villa were the main Premier League clubs hoping to sign him.

But according to Fabrizio Romano, the Ivorian will join Xavi’s project at Barcelona. He has already agreed a four-year contract with the Spanish club, which will see him receive £5.4million per year. Bonuses on top of that could take Kessie’s earnings closer to £6m.

The 25-year-old has been integral to Milan’s recent resurgence. Last term, he hit 13 league goals as the Rossoneri finished second in Serie A.

And Kessie has found the net five times this campaign, with Milan top of the table after 30 matches.

However, Stefano Pioli’s side must now plan for life without the influential midfielder. And they reportedly have a Chelsea star in mind to replace him.

Chelsea man wanted in Milan

According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, Milan are looking at Jorginho as a potential summer signing.

The Italy international had a brilliant year in 2021 – he won the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup with the Blues, then triumphed in the European Championship with Italy.

Those achievements saw Jorginho place third in the most recent Ballon d’Or rankings.

Jorginho agent is not ruling out Juventus move this summer

Jorginho agent is not ruling out Juventus move this summer

Jorginho’s agent is not ruling out a move away from Chelsea this summer with a Serie A return likely as Juventus are interested

The 30-year-old is important to the way Thomas Tuchel wants Chelsea to play, similarly to Kessie’s impact on Milan.

But the west London outfit now face a fight to keep him at Stamford Bridge. According to the report, Milan are confident of snatching Jorginho due to his agent’s recent comments.

His representative, Joao Santos, revealed Jorginho’s ‘heart is in Italy’. Santos also put five Serie A clubs in the mix to sign him – Milan, Inter, Juve, Roma and Napoli.

One stumbling block for Italians

Milan feel they have been given the green light to snatch Jorginho from Chelsea’s grasp. Although there is one stumbling block in their path.

Due to the sanctions aimed at Roman Abramovich, Chelsea cannot sell players or agree new contracts with them this summer.

That situation may change, but it certainly puts Jorginho and Milan in an awkward position.

Chelsea may use the time to plan an extension for Jorginho before putting it on the table once they are officially allowed to do so.

READ MORE: ‘Obviously he’d like to’ – Agent of key Chelsea man fuels the fire as swap deal to be mooted