Tottenham chief Fabio Paratici has reportedly struck an agreement with AC Milan for Franck Kessie, but they have still been given bad news in their hopes of signing the midfielder.
Kessie is currently representing the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations. He has started all three of their matches so far and scored in Thursday’s 3-1 win over Algeria, which sent the holders home.
Despite the all-round midfield star being away on international duty, his future is being hotly contested.
Kessie’s contract with Milan runs out in the summer and he is now free to organise a deal with another club.
He reportedly has high wage demands, due to an excellent couple of seasons in Serie A, but multiple European teams are willing to meet them.
Calciomercato, as cited by Inside Futbol, provide a big new update on the star’s future. They claim an agreement has been sorted out between Tottenham chief Paratici and Milan.
It would see Kessie move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer, once he becomes a free agent.
Franck Kessie hands Spurs major disappointment
However, after being told about the prospective transfer, the 25-year-old rejected Spurs. According to the report, his priority is to see out the current campaign with Milan.
He is helping the Rossoneri in their bid to become Italian champions for the first time since 2010-11. Stefano Pioli’s team sit third at the time of writing, four points behind leaders and rivals Inter.
Napoli are also in the mix to win the crown, while Atalanta and Juventus are further back.
Franck Kessie intends to finish his contract with Milan before making a firm decision on his future. Presumably, his next destination will not be north London.
Liverpool and Manchester United are the other English clubs in the running for his signature.
Conte reiterates ‘big gap’ between Spurs and Chelsea
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte has been speaking to the media after Spurs’ 2-0 defeat to London rivals Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.
Hakim Ziyech put Chelsea in front in the second half, but not before Harry Kane thought he had given Spurs the lead. The England captain took his chance well but was penalised for a minor push on Thiago Silva.
Brazil centre-back Silva then got on the end of a Mason Mount free-kick to make it 2-0, and Spurs were unable to mount a comeback.
On Kane’s disallowed goal, Conte said: “It is very difficult to comment and I don’t want to comment on the referee’s decision.
“But to disallow this goal in England, was incredible for me. Maybe I am more upset for the yellow card for Tanganga because I think this was clinical.”
The Italian added: “I don’t like to lose and defeat is always difficult for me, but I think to have a nine games in a row without defeat was important.
“In this moment, the gap with other teams like Chelsea is really an important gap. I am proud for the effort. We tried to do everything but sometimes it is not enough, especially against a team like this.
“Now there is a big difference between us and the top teams.”