Aston Villa look set to fall short with a €20m for Franck Kessie while president of football operations Monchi is also making a play for a second Barcelona star.
The Ivory Coast international was a key player for AC Milan between 2017 and 2022, making over 200 appearances for the Italian giants as he helped them win the Serie A title in 2021/22.
Kessie was out of contract last summer and was snapped up by Barcelona amid interest from both Tottenham and Manchester United.
The 26-year-old won the La Liga title during his debut season in Spain but he was used sparingly by head coach Xavi, starting just seven games for Barcelona in the league.
The Catalans want rid of Kessie, and the midfielder – like everyone else – has been linked with a big-money move to Saudi Arabia, but Nacional claim he ‘wants to remain in the elite’ and is ‘now motivated to try the Premier League’.
A report last month claimed Liverpool were keen, but the Reds have already signed Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, and it appears Romeo Lavia is their top choice for the defensive midfield role.
The Aston Villa ‘project is very interesting’ to Kessie, and the under the orders of manager Unai Emery, it’s claimed Monchi has put ‘€20m on the table’ for Kessie, though Barcelona ‘does not plan to sell for less than €30m’.
But ‘negotiations are open’ and ‘there are many numbers that Kessie ends up playing under Emery’s orders’, which we assume means there is wiggle roon in those negotiations.
The report claims Monchi is also keen on luring Ferran Torres to Villa Park this summer, as the Spain international is ‘another of the players who do not fall into Xavi’s plans’.
Like Kessie, the former Manchester City star wanted to stay at Barcelona ‘but little by little he has been assimilating that he has no place in the Blaugrana squad’.
‘The big problem’ for Villa in their chase of Torres is said to be the asking price of €35m.