Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a potential January transfer setback in their reported interest in Franck Kessie of Barcelona, writes the TIF.
Reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano has been speaking on the latest Here We Go podcast and suggested the Ivorian is now expected to stay at Barcelona.
Reports from Spanish outlet Sport claim Antonio Conte’s side hold a strong interest in bringing the 26-year-old over to north London.
The report has even suggested the Lilywhites are in pole position to land the midfielder, who has endured some struggles since arriving at Camp Nou in the summer.
And with Romano having acknowledged interest coming from two Premier League sides, he claimed a January move is now looking unlikely.
He said: “It’s also important to say one thing. English clubs, two English clubs and Italian clubs, including Inter, had interest in Franck Kessie – this is real.
“But no negotiations with Barca because at the moment, the expectation is for Kessie to stay at least until the end of the season, and then decide in the summer, his future.”
Having only joined in the summer from Milan, Kessie has only been able to earn two starts in La Liga, with his longest stint in the league lasting just 67 minutes (via Transfermarkt).
However, Kessie was a big part of Milan’s recent success, having played 31 times in Serie A last season as Stefano Pioli’s side got their hands on the Italian crown.
Spurs’ interest in the player has now been reported for a number of months, with Fabio Paratici believed to have earmarked him as a player of interest ahead of the summer window.
And on the back of Yves Bissouma’s lacklustre performance on Boxing Day, potentially missing out on a midfield target for January will likely come as a big blow to Conte, who will know of Kessie from his time with Milan’s other footballing powerhouse.
We saw how last January’s activity helped transform Tottenham’s season, and having dropped points in their first game back since the restart, seeing Kessie potentially pass them by may have the opposite effect judging by Romano’s information.