FC Barcelona have put a €35 million ($38.4 million) price tag on their midfielder Franck Kessie, who will stay at the club next season if interested buyers do not table the fee according to SPORT.
The Ivorian was acquired free of charge after his AC Milan contract wound down last summer, but he has failed to nail down a regular place in head coach Xavi Hernandez’s plans.
When Pedri was injured in February during a Europa League match with Manchester United, ‘The President’ was handed a lengthy run in the first XI at the expense of emerging talents such as Pablo Torre.
The following month, Xavi gave Sergi Roberto the nod in El Clasico but super sub Kessie made headlines and forever etched his name into club history by scoring the winning goal against Real Madrid that practically sealed the La Liga title.
Heading into Barca’s defense of the Spanish top flight crown in 2023/2024, the club desperately need to make player sales to buy fresh faces and return to the 1:1 rule under Financial Fair Play limits.
Offloading Kessie is a particularly attractive prospect, because any sum coming Barca’s way in a transfer represents pure profit given the way he arrived at Camp Nou free of charge 12 months ago.
Barca won’t just accept any old offer for the 26-year-old, however, according to SPORT, and they have stressed that €35 million must be coughed up for his services.
If not, Kessie stays put, and he continues to fight for minutes with the likes of Pedri, Gavi, and Frenkie de Jong. By the end of the transfer window, the Blaugrana might have also brought in Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan and a pivot to replace outgoing captain Sergio Busquets.
Recent Champions League finalists Inter Milan are one party interested in Kessie but they are only offering swap deals which would see Croatian international Marcelo Brozovic head in the opposite direction.
Elsewhere in Europe, though, Barca expect Premier League clubs to come forward and make a move for Kessie with his price tag pocket change for most big-spending outfits in England.