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Liverpool can complete double Milan transfer pounce without FSG spending a penny

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Just like last summer, Milan have a couple of players nearing the end of their contracts at the end of this season.

In 2021 it was Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Çalhanoğlu; in June 2022 it will be Franck Kessié and Alessio Romagnoli.

Both Donnarumma and Çalhanoğlu left the club on free transfers after failing to agree on new deals. The latter didn’t go too far, switching to the blue and black half of the city, while Donnarumma jumped to Paris Saint-Germain, and now plays second fiddle to Keylor Navas, despite being one of the stars of Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph.

Milan could face the same situation this coming summer. Both Kessié and Romagnoli have failed to sign on the dotted line for extensions as of writing.

Kessié has been linked repeatedly with a move to Liverpool, but could FSG strike a double deal, and nab the defender as well, considering both will sign for free?

It’s been reported that Liverpool are admirers of Kessié, and have been for a couple of years. The Ivorian midfielder is about to hit the peak years of his career, and after nearly eight years of living in Italy, he may fancy a new challenge in a new league.

Kessié graduated through Atalanta’s youth set up and into the first team, via a short loan spell at Cesena. Milan bought him in the summer of 2017, but he failed to find consistency at the Rossoneri until the arrival of coach Stefano Pioli two years ago.

Kessié is a complete midfielder, and would fit into Liverpool pretty seamlessly. He possesses a combination of a delicate touch with brute strength; he’s technically proficient, but also has the pace and intelligence to fit into Jürgen Klopp’s system.

He’s also pretty good at scoring penalties, netting 12 for Milan last season.

Kessié would be an upgrade on Naby Keïta and a belated replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum. Kessié, like Fabinho, can play in a variety of positions within midfield. His versatility would prove a huge boost to Klopp, and offer more squad depth. It could prove to be the latest in a number of shrewd Bosman signings under FSG, following in the footsteps of James Milner and Joël Matip.

However, Kessié’s head has been turned slightly with all the speculation mounting over his future this season, and his form has dipped as a consequence. He was sent off in Milan’s last Champions League game against Atlético Madrid for a needless challenge in the middle of the pitch, earning a second yellow card in a short space of time.

He did however return to form against old side Atalanta in the final game before the latest international break, as Milan won 3-2 in Bergamo. Yet negotiations on a new deal between Milan and Kessié seem further away than ever. Milan’s sporting director, the legendary Paolo Maldini, confessing to DAZN recently that, “we’ve been talking to Kessié’s agent for a year and a half.” But a deal doesn’t seem to be close.

So what about Romagnoli?

The club captain hasn’t enjoyed a good 2021. A regular at the heart of the Milan defence for the last several seasons, Romagnoli was usurped by newcomer Fikayo Tomori within a matter of weeks, with the English defender’s lightning quick pace an asset that Pioli could no longer afford to keep on the bench.

This was evident in Milan’s crushing defeat to Inter in the Milan derby in February, when Romelu Lukaku brushed past him with so much pace that Romagnoli couldn’t have caught him on a Vespa.

Tomori stepped in, formed a great understanding with Simon Kjaer, and Romagnoli has been on the periphery of things ever since. The captain is now third in the pecking order, and has been used in rotation for Kjaer this season.

Romagnoli is in the mould of Giorgio Chiellini, a rugged defender who relies on positional play to make up for his lack of pace, but he is clearly not as good as the Juventus stalwart.

Romagnoli wouldn’t be a good fit for Liverpool: he would be brutally exposed by quicker strikers and Liverpool’s high defensive line would do him little favours. As a free agent it would be an interesting deal, but with the club already having an abundance of central defenders, there are other priorities.



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