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Juventus 'ready to push to sign Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie'

Juventus 'ready to push for Franck Kessie signing'
© Reuters
Juventus are reportedly preparing to make a sustained effort to sign Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie this summer.

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has allegedly identified Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie as a priority transfer target.

The Italian giants have just endured a hugely disappointing campaign, only finishing in seventh place in Serie A courtesy of a 10-point deduction for financial irregularities.

With club officials having also allegedly agreed with UEFA to pull out of next season's Europa Conference League, Juventus face a major rebuilding job.

A wide array of incomings and outgoings are expected, particularly in midfield where Juventus hope to part ways with Arthur Melo, Denis Zakaria and Weston McKennie in order to raise funds and free up space on the wage bill.

Arthur is said to be on the brink of joining Fiorentina on loan, while Zakaria could make the switch to West Ham United if the two clubs can agree on a fee.

Juventus' Adrien Rabiot in action with Napoli's Victor Osimhen on April 23, 2023© Reuters

On a positive note, Juventus have been able to agreed fresh terms with Adrien Rabiot over a new contract, and it effectively leaves Allegri looking for one more central midfielder to complete his options in that area of the pitch for 2023-24.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Juventus are hoping to tempt Kessie into making a return to Serie A just one year after his departure.

The Ivory Coast international established himself as a key player at AC Milan between 2017 and 2022, helping the club win last season's league title before moving to Camp Nou on a free transfer.

As many as 37 goals and 16 assists came from 223 appearances for Milan, in sharp contrast to what the 26-year-old has been able to achieve at Barcelona.

Franck Kessie celebrates scoring for Barcelona on September 7, 2022© Reuters

Just three strikes and three assists were contributed in 43 outings, just seven starts coming in La Liga and a further nine in other competitions.

Although Ilkay Gundogan will effectively act as a straight replacement for Sergio Busquets, Barcelona are still in the market for a fresh face to bolster Xavi's midfield ranks.

Kessie's preference is allegedly to stay at Barcelona or accept a move to a Premier League club, yet Juventus seemingly want him to play an instrumental role in their starting lineup from 2023-24 onwards.

With Barcelona needing to generate funds to resolve their well-documented financial issues, club officials are likely to only consider permanent bids for a player who they acquired as a free agent.

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Juventus' Arthur Melo in action in November 2021
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