Barcelona’s focus is set to switch from La Liga to the January transfer window with Spanish football now on a break due to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar which is due to kick off Sunday, November 20.
The Catalans have already received an “unexpected” offer for one of their players, as reported by Diario Sport. Midfielder Franck Kessie, who only arrived in the summer on a free transfer, is wanted by Premier League sides Fulham and Aston Villa.
Unai Emery’s side are willing to offer €14 million for the Ivorian, but Fulham are willing to go far higher and splash out €22m on Kessie. Such an offer could well tempt Barcelona into parting company with the midfielder already, particularly as he arrived on a free transfer from AC Milan.
Kessie has struggled to make much of an impact so far. The midfielder faces a real battle for minutes with Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, and Gavi around and has also had injury problems.
The midfielder is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury suffered against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League. Xavi admitted that the midfielder was very upset at seeing his first season at Barcelona interrupted by another injury setback.
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Kessie Agent Slams Exit Rumors
Kessie’s agent has previously slammed rumors that the Ivorian is already thinking about a departure. George Atangana told Mundo Deportivo that speculation the midfielder was already hankering after a Serie A return was “fake news.”
The midfielder’s representative also insisted Kessie would continue to work hard to try and prove himself at Barca. “Kessie will continue working to earn a place in the team,” he added. “He is not a player who gives up easily. He had other offers in the summer and bet heavily on Barça.”
However, there is a possibility that Kessie may be interested in a move to the Premier League. Such a transfer could see him potentially play a key role for either Aston Villa or Fulham rather than spending the second half of the season on Barcelona’s bench.
Memphis To Leave In January?
Kessie may not be the only player to leave Barcelona in January. Memphis Depay is out of contract at the end of the season which means the Dutchman could be sold so Barca do not lose him on a free next summer.
Barca will also have to sell Memphis if they want to bring in any new players in January, as reported by Diario Sport. The Catalans need to lower their wage bill and offloading Memphis is the easiest option.
President Joan Laporta has already made it clear that signing players in January will not be easy for the club due to their ongoing financial difficulties, as reported by Sport.
He said, “To sign in winter we would have to incorporate players to improve what we have and it is not easy, especially taking into account that we still have fair play problems due to the elimination from the Champions League, which has reduced our budget.”
The transfer window reopens in Spain on January 2, 2023 and runs until January 31.