Over the summer, with Gini Wijnaldum departing for France and Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool were linked with a number of potential midfield signings. One of those linked names—albeit one who didn’t get a great deal of traction—was AC Milan’s Franck Kessié.
The 24-year-old Ivorian is one of Milan’s top players and, at 24 years of age, one of the top defensively-minded midfielders in Europe. As such, even with one year left in his contract he would have cost a great deal. Now, though, he’s into that final year of his contract.
And with no signs he’ll be signing an extension, that now has Milan scrambling for a solution that doesn’t involve losing him on a free next summer. To that end, enter rumours this week in the Italian press about a potential player swap for Liverpool midfielder Thiago.
On paper, no matter how skilled a player Thiago is, given Kessié’s age in some scenarios there would be a case for such a swap making sense for Liverpool. Yet that case only exists if the club see Kessié as a first choice target and a January deal as the only way to sign him.
With Kessié’s contract expiring next summer, if Liverpool really want the player and the player want them that simply isn’t the case, and it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where a mid-season midfielder swap makes the Reds better at the position in the short-term.
Thiago has yet to show his best since joining Liverpool, but he was targeted at the request of Jürgen Klopp and has had a chance to settle now. Exchanging him mid-season for a midfielder who will be available for free next summer would make little sense.