Man Utd could land former £40million target Kessie for free to bolster midfield

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Manchester United could reportedly land a transfer target who has previously been valued at £40million for free in next summer’s window.

Having signed Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of this season, central midfield has become the priority area for United’s recruitment team.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s options in the position are Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic, none of whom have impressed on a consistent basis.

The need for a new midfielder has also been escalated by the contract situations of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, who can both leave for free at the end of the season.

With no progress having been made on any new deal for the duo so far, the Red Devils are now understood to be making contingency plans in case they do depart Old Trafford.

According to Mundo Deportivo, one of the main players heading up those plans is AC Milan star Franck Kessie.

Kessie has become a key player for the Rossoneri since moving to the San Siro from Atalanta originally on loan in 2017.

United had been interested in him ahead of that move, though were put off by Atalanta’s £40m price tag.

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He made 50 appearances last season as Milan finished as runners-up to city rivals Inter in Serie A, with Kessie scoring two penalties against his former club to seal second place.

37 appearances came in defensive midfield, though the Ivorian was still able to score 11 goals and notch six assists.

He began this season injured, but has started Milan’s last three matches in all competitions, including the defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League.

But having spent four years at the San Siro, Kessie’s contract has now entered its final year, with Mundo Deportivo claiming several clubs are interested if he opts to run that deal down.

United are one of those clubs who are keeping tabs on the 24-year-old, who is free to negotiate with foreign clubs about a summer move from January.

Kessie would present a far cheaper option than United’s other targets, who include Declan Rice and Youri Tielemans.

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