Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Talks at ‘advanced stage’ as Tottenham near massive first signing of Antonio Conte era

Percy Tau of South Africa is challenged by Franck Kessie of Ivory Coast during 2019 AFCON

Tottenham are closing in on the signing of Franck Kessie with talks between the midfielder nearing a conclusion, according to a report.

The midfield general, 25, is quickly becoming one of football’s most coveted free agents. Kessie is out of contract next summer and predictably, has no shortage of suitors and clubs scampering to sign the AC Milan man.

Indeed, it now seems inevitable that a parting of ways between Kessie and Milan is on the cards. Their final salary offer worth around £5m a year has been rejected. As such, reports in Italy claim Kessie has informed the Serie A title chasers that he plans to leave next summer.

Furthermore, reports just before Christmas outlined the package put on the table at Spurs. They are seemingly willing to pay him a deal worth £8.4m a season, which equates to £160,000 a week.

That would make Kessie one of Tottenham’s highest-paid players, besting even Heung-Min Son’s current salary.

Manchester United and PSG are also keen on Kessie. However, Spurs are now reportedly right at the front of the queue.

Now, according to the Daily Express, talks between Kessie and Spurs are at an ‘advanced stage’. They claim an agreement is likely to be reached in the next week, with Spurs striking early in the transfer window.

He is eligible to open talks officially from January 1 – but the paper suggests talks are already well down the line.

First signing for Conte

Franck Kessie close to Spurs transfer

Reports suggest AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie is closing in on a move to Spurs as Antonio Conte's first signing, with more news on Stefan de Vrij and Spurs' January transfer budget.

It is likely Kessie will sign a pre-contract agreement to move to Tottenham at the end of the season. But all things considered, the report claims he is very likely to become the first signing of the Antonio Conte era at Spurs.

Kessie has five goals in 16 Serie A appearances this season, so his quality at Spurs will be obvious. Seen as a perfect foil for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, he could slot into a solid midfield partnership alongside the Dane.

Conte coy on potential Kessie deal

Conte himself was giving little away when asked about January recruits recently.

“Honestly at this moment I cannot answer that,” he said.

“Now my focus is to work with the players to improve the situation. Then for sure we will have a meeting with the club to try understand if there is the possibility to improve the situation in terms of transfers.

“But now I think it is good to be focused on the pitch because we have a very important game against Crystal Palace.”

He added: “No we have not been able to discuss this because of the Covid situation at the club.

“But for sure we will have a meeting. I tend to exploit situations and I think at the moment the only way to improve Tottenham’s situation is to work hard with the squad I have got and improve my players.

“Then if there is the possibility to improve the team in the transfer window we will try to do our best to improve the level of Tottenham.”

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