Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham beat out heavyweight rival with perfect Conte signing certain to move

AC Milan players Rafael Leao and Franck Kessie

Tottenham moved a step closer to providing Antonio Conte with a midfield destroyer after the reason why a heavyweight rival bowed out of the race for Franck Kessie emerged.

The Ivory Coast international, 25, looks certain to leave AC Milan this summer. Kessie has five months left on his contract and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano shed light on his situation last week.

Romano tweeted Kessie is ‘still not accepting’ an AC contract offer worth ‘€6.5m net’ (approximately £105,000-per-week). It’s looking increasingly likely Milan’s gamble to retain Kessie into his final year will not pay off with a free agent exit now looming.

English interest had mainly centred on Liverpool and Tottenham. Kessie’s all-action style and combative nature would make him a perfect fit for both Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte.

However, amid the emrgence of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, Liverpool’s midfield ranks now look stronger than ever under Klopp. What’s more, James Milner is expected to pen a one-year contract extension.

That could leave the door ajar for Spurs, and Sport Witness (citing Spanish outlet Sport) detail further good news.

Barcelona swoop for Kessie ‘ruled out’

They state Barcelona – also chasing Kessie – have now ‘discarded’ their interest. That development stems from struggling to finance the ‘bulky economic conditions’ required to land Kessie that were previously detailed by Romano.

That leaves just Serie A pair Juventus and Inter Milan left to challenge Tottenham, per the report.

Dybala, Lingard and Kessie main targets for Tottenham this summer

Dybala, Lingard and Kessie main targets for Tottenham this summer

Tottenham will target free agents this summer with Franck Kessie from Ac Milan, Jesse Lingard from Manchester United and Dybala from Juventus being the main options

The trio are claimed to all be ‘bidding’ to bring Kessie on board in the summer. The article states the player’s representatives are currently ‘handling’ multiple ‘offers’.

Lining up against a midfield three of chief disruptors Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur and Kessie would be a daunting prospect for any Premier League side.

Paratici eyeing Juventus hattrick

Meanwhile, Tottenham have submitted the ‘most firm’ offer for the coup signing of Paulo Dybala following talks with Fabio Paratici, it’s been claimed.

Dybala is set to be a free agent this summer. The Argentine, 28, emerged as Spurs‘ top striker target after Juventus made Dusan Vlahovic his teammate. Director of football Paratici worked with him at his old club and clearly feels he can convince him to also journey to north London.

After all, he has already done so with former Old Lady pair Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur.

Spanish publication Sport report the Premier League outfit have already spoken with Dybala and have made the best approach of any side so far.

They cover Barcelona’s tracking of the Argentina international, which has been ongoing for years. The Catalan giants are now interested in the prospect of his free signing. Of course, they are looking for bargains due to their financial situation.

It’s claimed that Dybala would be willing to join them, but it is not his priority. That is again a good sign for Spurs. However, it is noted that he would like to play in Spain.

READ MORE: Antonio Conte ready to make Tottenham stars ‘suffer’ in top-four hunt, as Bayern comparison made