90min

Franck Kessie draws interest from Liverpool amid stalled contract talks

Max Parsons
Kessie is currently on Olympic duty with Ivory Coast
Kessie is currently on Olympic duty with Ivory Coast / YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/Getty Images
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Contract talks between AC Milan and midfielder Franck Kessie are at an impasse over wages, while Liverpool could pounce if the issues are not ironed out.

The Ivorian - who joined Milan in 2017 - is currently on Olympic duty and will only resolve his club situation once back in Italy from Japan.

However, with his current deal expiring in 11 months, the news of a less than smooth renewal process has encouraged suitors that the door may be open for the 24-year-old to move.

Gazzetta dello Sport report that Kessie, following an excellent campaign with the Rossoneri in 2020/21, is determined to secure a pay rise. The report claims that the midfielder currently earns €2.2m (£1.8m) net a year, but wants that figure to rise to around €6m (£5m) - or, €115,000 a week.

However, given the current economic climate, Milan are not prepared to match their player's salary demands. The club reportedly countered Kessie's proposal with an offer of under €4m, putting negotiations at a standstill.

The news has given hope to Kessie's many admirers, who will be looking to get a cut-price deal over the line given his contract is currently set to end in 2022.

Liverpool are one such interested party, after losing Gini Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer this summer.

The absence of the Dutchman has left a hole which needs filling in Jurgen Klopp's side, with Ateltico Madrid's Saul Niguez also a target.

Kessie would be a like-for-like solution and is in the typical age bracket for an FSG signing.

The midfielder enjoyed the best season of his career to date during Milan's promising 2020/21 campaign. The Ivorian bagged 13 goals and six assists in Serie A last season, helping his side to Champions League qualification.

Whatever happens with Kessie's contract situation, it is likely that it will not get sorted before he returns from the 2020 Olympics - where his goal gave Ivory Coast an opening 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have already seen to their problematic centre-back situation, signing Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig for a reported £36m earlier in the window, while Jarrod Bowen and Ismaila Sarr have recently both been linked to Klopp's side to add depth to the forward line.

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