Tottenham have suffered a blow to bolstering their midfield this summer after it emerged Ange Postecoglou’s top summer target is the latest player set to head to the Saudi Pro League.
Spurs are expected to offload midfield stalwart Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to Atletico Madrid before the summer window shuts, with the Dane not considered suitable for how Postecoglou wants his side to play.
The Spanish giants are currently stalling over Daniel Levy’s asking price for the former Bayern Munich man, although some sort of compromise is expected to be made to get the transfer done.
However, it appears that Hojbjerg’s direct replacement is no longer bound for north London, with Barcelona star Franck Kessie seemingly on his way to Saudi.
The Ivory Coast midfielder only moved to the Nou Camp on a free last summer but was scarcely used in the starting XI as Xavi’s men tasted LaLiga title success.
Ane while Spurs are thought to be closing in on another Barca star in Clement Lenglet, their hopes of making it a double signing from Catalonia now look doomed to failure.
Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Al Ahli have reached a verbal agreement to sign the 26-year-old for a fee of just €15million (£13m).
Kessie looks set to become the latest big-name player to join Al Ahli after Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez and Allan Saint-Maximin all joined this summer.
Romano adds that Kessie will sign a three-year deal until 2026, with the documents expected to be signed off over the next 24 hours.
Barcelona have made the decision to offload Kessie to get the midfielder’s salary off their books, allowing them further flexibility under La Liga’s strict financial restrictions.
Postecoglou set to look at other midfield options
However, at the price they are selling, the news with come as a big blow to Tottenham boss Postecoglou in particular.
Kessie is considered a perfect fit for the Australian’s high-pressing, high-energy style of football and his snub leaves Postecoglou short of his players in his current squad who can implement that approach.
Yves Bissouma has enjoyed an impressive pre-season so far, looking more like the player who excelled at Brighton before heading to north London. However, Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp are not dynamic enough to have a major impact and the injured Rodrigo Bentancur will miss the start of the season.
To that end, if Hojbjerg is still allowed to move on then expect Postecoglou to bring in another body to bolster his squad.