Barcelona have short window to prevent Tottenham or Aston Villa coup, with transfer hinging on big commitment

Barcelona stars Franck Kessie and Memphis Depay Credit: Alamy
Barcelona stars Franck Kessie and Memphis Depay Credit: Alamy

Tottenham and Aston Villa lead the English contingent aiming to make a Barcelona star’s stay a short one, and TEAMtalk has learned what a January transfer could hinge on.

Barcelona’s most recent window was a chaotic one to say the least. The club continued to pull financial levers and sell off broadcasting rights to ensure they could pursue their primary targets, such as Raphinha and Jules Kounde.

However, a plethora of free agent acquisitions were also sanctioned, with many of those arriving raising eyebrows.

Indeed, Chelsea squad-players Marcos Alonso and Andreas Christensen both signed on the dotted line without Barca having to pay a fee. Neither were good enough for the Blues, though have featured regularly in Spain.

A rather more in-demand free agent signing was that of Franck Kessie.

The Ivorian was fresh off a Sere A-winning season at AC Milan. Kessie was an integral part of Milan’s success and aged just 25, had the feel of a bargain and clever pick-up.

However, Kessie’s career has stalled since moving to the Camp Nou. Indeed, he’s made just seven LaLiga appearances that total a measly 212 minutes of action.

That perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise given Xavi has the likes of Pedri, Gavi and Frenkie de Jong to choose from. Nevertheless, it’s sparked rampant speculation Kessie’s time could already be up.

Barcelona willing to make a quick buck?

Spanish outlet AS reported Barcelona are willing to cash in for just €10m (approx. £8.6m). Barcelona’s valuation is only so low because Kessie arrived for nothing last summer and they’re eyeing a quick buck.

Fabrizio Romano then reiterated Spurs’ interest in Kessie last summer, while Aston Villa were named in AS’ report.

Kessie has not become a bad player overnight and £8.6m could represent a steal for any side willing to take a gamble.

Now, TEAMtalk’s transfer insider, Graeme Bailey, has shed light on Barca’s plans for the dynamic midfielder.

Tottenham, Villa hopes hinge on January game-time

Bailey told us Barcelona have been flooded with interest, though at present, aren’t willing to sever ties just yet.

However, the situation could change if Kessie isn’t given a chance to prove his worth between now and the end of the winter window.

With Barcelona not in action again until New Years’ Eve due to the World Cup, Xavi therefore has just one month to convince Kessie he shouldn’t push for an exit by giving him significant minutes over a four-week period.

“Barcelona have been inundated with interest in Kessie, but as it stands they are not ready to let him go,” said Bailey. “They still think he can be an important part of the squad this season.

“A lot of the interest came from Italy with Inter Milan and Napoli both keen to bring him back to Serie A.

“Tottenham and Aston Villa were also keen on a January deal, but as it stands he is staying put – although that could yet change in January if he does not see anymore action throughout the month.

“It’s very much one we will be keeping an eye on up until the window closes.”

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