AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie looks set to deliver a crushing blow to Antonio Conte and Tottenham, with advanced talks taking place to join LaLiga giants Barcelona in a summer deal.
The box-to-box-midfielder has been the number one midfield target for Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici, with Conte wanting the 25-year-old to give his engine room a major upgrade.
The north London club have been trying to sign Kessie this month, with a deal with Milan agreed. However, the player himself has decided to wait until the end of the season and move on a free.
But that move will not be to England, with Barca journalist Xavi Campos (via BarcaUniversal) claiming that Kessie will pen a deal with the Catalan giants.
Barcelona are having to be creative with signings, given their financial troubles. To that end, it looks like Kessie will join Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta in heading to the Nou Camp.
The news of Kessie’s proposed pre-contract deal will come as a massive blow to Conte.
The Italian wanted the former Atlanta to be the driving force of his midfield. However, he will now have to look at other targets, with Fiorentina star Sofyan Amrabat also on Tottenham’s radar.
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Spurs do appear to be closing in on one signing in the shape of Wolves attacker Adama Traore. But Conte is known to want at least three additions before the window shuts on January 31.
Tottenham join chase for Porto winger
Meanwhile, Tottenham are reportedly looking to secure the signing of Porto attacker Luis Diaz before the January window shuts, despite strong interest from Manchester United and Liverpool.
The Premier League trio are all chasing the player dubbed ‘the Colombian Cristiano Ronaldo’, although United and Liverpool are yet to make official bids. That has left the door open for Spurs, as Antonio Conte looks to bring in at least three new players.
Pedro Sepulveda of Portuguese outlet SIC Noticias reports that the 25-year-old is subject of a €45million bid from the north London side.
Tottenham have reportedly given Porto 48 hours to respond to the offer.
Daniel Levy has typically gone in with a lowball offer, with Diaz valued closer to €60m earlier this window.
But the report adds that Spurs are actually considering breaking their transfer record to sign the forward.
Tanguy Ndombele stills holds that honour, although the playmaker could be on his way out before January 31.
Diaz has scored 64 goals in 275 career appearances and has netted an impressive 16 times already this term.