Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham target reaches lucrative agreement after digging in heels over summer switch

AC Milan pair Rafael Leao and Franck Kessie

Franck Kessie has reached an agreement with his next club ahead of a free agent switch this summer, and the extent of Tottenham’s pursuit has been revealed.

The Ivory Coast midfielder, 25, has developed into a superb all-round asset in AC Milan’s midfield. Kessie has been instrumental in the Rossoneri reaching the summit of the Serie A table at present. However, given his contract expires in the summer, lifting that trophy would be his last act at the San Siro.

That’s according to trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano. The Italian journalist tweeted Kessie has ‘signed as a new Barcelona player’ after a verbal agreement was struck in the last few days.

That will come as a bitter blow to Tottenham who had been linked with both a January transfer or free agent swoop in the summer.

Indeed, Spurs chief Fabio Paratici was reportedly high on the thought of bringing Kessie to north London. Adding him to the likes of fellow combative stars Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur would make facing Spurs a daunting prospect for many,

But it’s Barcelona who have won the race with a four-year deal due to be penned.

Kessie will reportedly receive a a weekly wage of £105,000. That is the same as what AC Milan were offering, but Kessie will also receive ‘add-ons’ at the Camp Nou. Romano added the player’s medical has already been completed.

The Athletic’s Tottenham correspondent, Jack Pitt-Brooke, then shed light on Spurs’ failed chase.

Kessie dug heels in over January transfer

The journalist confirmed Paratici ‘wanted’ Kessie and plans were afoot over a January transfer for a cut-price fee.

AC were reportedly open to that idea as they would’ve received a small fee, rather than letting Kessie walk for free six months later.

However, Kessie himself is stated to have ‘dug his heels in’ to block the move. That was with the intention of securing a more lucrative free agent move that will likely have included a sign-on fee.

What’s more, that route allowed Kessie to pick and choose which team he would go on to join.

Spurs’ attention will now turn to alternative targets, though the latest buzz surrounds a forward, not a midfielder.

Indeed, Paulo Dybala seems certain to be leaving Juventus as a free agent in the summer. Spurs signed two players from the Turin club in January in the form of Dejan Kulusevski and Bentancur.

Tottenham fans will be hoping the club’s strong Juve connections through Paratici and Conte can help then land Dybala too.