Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur may now be best positioned to sign Franck Kessie on a free transfer after Barcelona cooled their interest.
United and Spurs are both after reinforcements in centre midfield, both identifying Kessie as a target in their pursuit of improving their respective playing squads, according to recent reports from Calciomercato and the Evening Standard, respectively.
They, along with Italian giants Juventus and a few other interested Premier League clubs, have been handed a huge boost in trying to sign the 25-year-old who is out of contract in the coming summer.
According to Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona were the front-runners to sign the Ivorian, but could not agree to his wage demands after he rejected a reported offer of €5m in net pay.
Kessie is an all-round dynamic midfielder. He is not a master of any particular craft but displays a strong level of ability in each desired trait for a central midfielder.
He is a more than capable passer of the ball, a strong defensive player from midfield, and solid at bringing the ball out from the back. He also has a good knack for grabbing a goal, with five to his name this season as Milan try to hunt down neighbours Inter to secure the title for the Rossoneri for the first time in 11 years.
Spurs may have signed Rodrigo Bentancur, but signing Kessie alongside him would represent a strong and sturdy midfield capable of going toe to toe with the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea, if not even Manchester City. And under Antonio Conte such a signing could prove to be a stroke of genius.
The Red Devils meanwhile, need to invest in the position desperately. From the current crop of Scott McTominay, Fred, and Nemanja Matic, only the former should realistically see their long-term future with United and even this should not see their role extended beyond that of a squad player once better players are available.
A free transfer would certainly suit anyone in the current market as it continues to recover from the impact of Covid-19, and Kessie would also suit any team due to his dynamism in midfield.