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Rumour Mongering: Chelsea, Manchester United, and Liverpool Battle for Atalanta Star

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Everton are also rumoured to be interested in singing midfielder Franck Kessie.

Juventus FC v Atalanta BC - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

According to reports in Italy, Atalanta’s rising star midfielder Franck Kessie is a top target for at least four English clubs who are all battling to sign the 19-year-old before the close of the January transfer window, and now the player’s agent has flown to England in an attempt to get a deal done.

Chelsea have been rumoured to be the most serious suitors, and recent reports have had a £27M bid by the Blues rejected. Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus have also been linked with Kessie, but the Premier League’s spending power has priced them out of the bidding for the young Ivorian.

Kessie is a powerful, talented, two-footed holding midfielder with a knack for arriving late in support of the attack. He has managed seven goals and two assists in 17 total appearances this season. In a pinch, his size and ability to read the game defensively means he’s capable of filling in at centre half.

On paper at least, his skill set shows a significant overlap with current Liverpool midfielder Emre Can, who impressed last season under Jürgen Klopp but who has appeared to regress this year. Liverpool have not been linked with Kessie previously, though, which should raise a few eyebrows now.

While he is a highly talented young player, given Chelsea’s serious interest, it is perhaps more likely that the player’s agent is using the names of other English clubs to try to get a deal done rather than that it reflects genuine late interest in the player from Liverpool and Manchester.

Still, Jürgen Klopp has been given money to spend should he identify a target he wants at a club willing to sell, so while it might seem unlikely that Liverpool would move for the talented youngster, it isn’t impossible.