Barcelona 'battle with Manchester United to sign AC Milan's Franck Kessie', as cash-strapped giants eye a free transfer with the midfielder's contract expiring next year
Barcelona have reportedly entered the race to sign AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.
The 24-year-old has been linked with a move to Premier League giants Manchester United in recent weeks, with the midfielder no closer to agreeing fresh terms at the San Siro.
Cash-strapped Barcelona are targeting Kessie with the possibility of signing him for free in the summer of 2022, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The central midfielder is able to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January, with his deal set to run down at the end of the season.
The report claims that Kessie would not only meet Barca's requirements economically but also his profile and qualities on the pitch fit the bill to bolster their midfield ranks.
Barcelona missed out on signing midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool last summer, with the Dutchman deciding to join Ligue 1 giants PSG instead.
The Catalan giants find themselves in financial turmoil with the club recording a £409million (€481m) loss for last season.
It's no secret that Barca have been struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic but the full extent of their problems was disclosed last week. Barcelona's salary cap limit was also slashed by £246m to £85m.
Kessie has been a regular performer for Milan since joining them from Atalanta in 2017.
Milan are refusing to give up hope of keeping Kessie, with manager Stefano Pioli outlining his desire for the player to stay recently.
'I would like Kessie to sign,' he told the Italian media. 'The negotiations go on between the club and his agent, and I don't think it's the time to worry.
'With Franck, I only talk about matters relating to the pitch and I always see him as positive and serene, there are no problems.'