Manchester United & FC Barcelona 'battle' for African star

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Franck Kessie has been widely linked with a move away from Serie A giants AC Milan, with his representatives seemingly no closer to agreeing terms on a new deal with the San Siro side.

The midfielder's current contract is set expire in June 2022, which means he will be allowed to negotiate a pre-contract with other teams in January, and Ronald Koeman's Barca are keen on the possibility of signing him for free, according to Mundo Deportivo.

8. Kamaldeen Sulemana (Ghana) - FC Nordsjaelland t
8. Kamaldeen Sulemana (Ghana) - FC Nordsjaelland to Stade Rennais - €15 million
3. Enock Mwepu (Zambia) - Red Bull Salzburg to Bri
3. Enock Mwepu (Zambia) - Red Bull Salzburg to Brighton & Hove Albion - €23 million
4. Odilon Kossounou (Ivory Coast) - Club Brugge to
4. Odilon Kossounou (Ivory Coast) - Club Brugge to Bayer Leverkusen - €23 million
10. Musa Barrow (Gambia) - Atalanta to Bologna - €
10. Musa Barrow (Gambia) - Atalanta to Bologna - €14.5 million
2. Patson Daka (Zambia) - Red Bull Salzburg to Lei
2. Patson Daka (Zambia) - Red Bull Salzburg to Leicester City - €30 million
7. Hamed Junior Traore (Ivory Coast) - FC Empoli t
7. Hamed Junior Traore (Ivory Coast) - FC Empoli to Sassuolo - €16 million
5. Pape Matar Sarr (Senegal) - FC Metz to Tottenha
5. Pape Matar Sarr (Senegal) - FC Metz to Tottenham Hotspur - €16.9 million (will spend the 2021/22 campaign on loan at Metz)
6. Ilaix Moriba (Guinea) - Barcelona to RB Leipzig
6. Ilaix Moriba (Guinea) - Barcelona to RB Leipzig - €16 million
1. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco) - Inter Milan to Paris
1. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco) - Inter Milan to Paris Saint-Germain - €60 million
9. Maxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast) - Olympique Lyonnai
9. Maxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast) - Olympique Lyonnais to Burnley - €15 million

This acquisition would continue a new trend the cash-strapped Blaugrana have set of targeting free agents, having completed the signings of Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero in similar fashion in the previous transfer window.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United, meanwhile, are also interested in the Ivorian's services, having often been linked with Kessie since his performance against the Red Devils in a 2020/21 UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie.

The 24-year-old earned plaudits after he shone in that match against the Manchester club, during which he also had a well-taken strike ruled out due to a marginal handball decision from the video assistant referee.

United midfielder Donny van de Beek has been linked with an exit from Old Trafford in the near future, which could open up a space for the African star should the Red Devils sign him.

Donny van de Beek
Donny van de Beek
Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial
Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard
Diogo Dalot
Diogo Dalot
Phil Jones
Phil Jones
Eric Bailly
Eric Bailly
Alex Telles
Alex Telles