AC Milan are considering proposing a swap deal involving Franck Kessie and Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara in January, with the Reds among those interested in the Rossoneri contract rebel.
Kessie has reached an impasse in talks over a new deal with the Italian giants due to his €7m-€8m wage demands, and with his current terms due to expire next summer Milan may look for a swift solution to avoid losing him for free.
Several top European sides have been linked with the 24-year-old as a result of his stalled contract talks, including Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.
According to Il Milanista, the club's directors Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara are keen to pursue a swap deal involving Liverpool man Thiago in the new year, hoping to capitalise on the Merseysiders' interest in Kessie.
The Rossoneri see this as an 'equal exchange' and it would mean they avoid the Ivory Coast international departing as a free agent in 2022, which is what happened this summer when they failed to agree terms on new deals with star players Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu.
Liverpool host Milan in a blockbuster Champions League group stage encounter next week, and the report claims that talks between the two clubs could advance later this month.
Thiago has surprisingly failed to nail down a place in Jurgen Klopp's starting XI at Anfield since arriving from Bayern Munich ahead of the 2020/21 season, although he was hampered by both a knee injury and coronavirus last campaign.
The Spain international still has three years to run on his current deal, and considering his wages are reportedly worth £200,000 per week - substantially more than Milan's maximum offer to Kessie of €125,000 (£107,000) per week - this seems like a difficult deal to pull off.
Kessie has yet to make an appearance for Milan this season having picked up a muscle injury shortly after returning from international duty at the Tokyo Olympics.
Despite rejecting the Rossoneri's latest contract offer, the central midfielder has previously claimed he wants to stay at San Siro 'forever'.
“I’m proud to have chosen Milan and it’s not my intention to leave. Indeed, I want to stay forever," he said in July. “I only want Milan. I want to be here for life. At least for the duration of my footballing life."