Tottenham Hotspur are set to make official moves for AC Milan duo Franck Kessie and Alessio Romagnoli, as they look to secure them on pre-contracts in January, 90min understands.
Both players have just six months left on their respective contracts and are eligible to enter formal negotiations with overseas clubs as of Saturday, with a view to potentially securing a free transfer in advance of the summer.
90min revealed in September that the Premier League was emerging as a favoured landing spot for Ivorian midfield star Kessie, who first made his name in Serie A at Atalanta. The 25-year-old has so far shunned Milan’s attempts to get him to sign an extension.
Spurs have long been keen on Kessie and coach Antonio Conte has given his approval for managing director Fabio Paratici to push ahead with an approach, although they are also aware they are not the only interested Premier League club in the mix.
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United are all understood to have made contact with Kessie’s representatives in recent months, as have Newcastle - who could make a sizeable offer, but their offer would be dependent on them securing their Premier League status.
Milan are still hoping they can persuade him to extend his stay, but their task will be made all the harder once he starts being presented with alternative offers in January.
Rossoneri captain Alessio Romagnoli is in a similar situation. The 26-year-old centre-back is in talks with the club, but it is understood they are looking for him to take a drop in wages and it remains to be seen if that is something he is willing to do.
Romagnoli has garnered interest from across Europe, but again Tottenham and Conte are very much in contention for him. Chelsea, who could very well need more than one new central defender in the summer, are also taking a keen interest in his contract talks.
The Blues could end up rivalling Spurs for both Kessie and Romagnoli.