Barcelona in Talks To Sign Two Free Agents: Report

Franck Kessie

Getty Franck Kessie celebrates scoring for AC Milan.

The January transfer window remains open for business but Barcelona are already thinking about potential summer transfers and have identified two players they could bring in to the Camp Nou.

AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie is one of the favorites to join Barcelona, as reported by Xavi Campos at at Catalunya Radio. The 25-year-old is out of contract in the summer and available on a free transfer after five years with the Rossoneri.

Campos reports talks are “advanced” but not yet completed and adds that several other clubs are also interested in signing the Ivorian. Kessie’s status as a free agent makes him an “attractive and feasible” target for the Catalans.

The other player on Barca’s radar is Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta who is also out of contract in the summer. Sources close to the deal say a move to Barcelona is virtually done and Azpilicueta will arrive at the Camp Nou to strengthen the defense for the 2022-23 campaign.

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Where Would Kessie Fit in at Barcelona?

News that Barcelona are keen on Kessie may surprise many fans as the Catalans certainly don’t lack quality midfielders. Sergio Busquets has taken over the captaincy this season from Lionel Messi and remains a key player, although he’ll turn 34 in July and a replacement will be needed at some point.

Yet Barca also have plenty of young talent available in midfield. Frenkie de Jong is now in his third season at the Camp Nou, while teenager Pedri has become a regular at Barca after signing from Las Palmas.

Fellow teenagers Gavi and Nico Gonzalez have also broken into the first team this season and both look to have bright futures ahead of them under Xavi at the Camp Nou.

Bringing in Kessie does raises questions over Barca’s plan for the future. Competition in midfield is already fierce and it’s difficult to see where he might fit in right now unless someone leaves.

Busquets may be ageing but does have a contract until 2023 and has been a virtual ever-present this season. Meanwhile, there has been speculation about Frenkie de Jong’s future after an underwhelming campaign so far in 2021-22.

Barca Offer Two-Year Deal?

Barcelona have offered Azpilicueta a two-year deal with the potential for a third year, as reported by transfer expert Fabrizio Romano. The defender will turn 33 in August but has shown few signs of slowing down even though he’s heading towards the end of his career.

Azpilicueta will bring bags of experience if he does make the switch to Barca. The defender has won two Premier League titles, the Champions League, two Europa Leagues and both the FA Cup and League Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge.

The defender remains a key part of the squad under manager Thomas Tuchel but has yet to agree a new deal. Chelsea have a policy of only offering one-year contract extensions to players over the age of 31 which could see Azpilicueta opt for a fresh challenge on a longer contract.

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