Kessié Shines in New Role but Milan Extension Is Distant

After a few underwhelming displays, Franck Kessié turned things around against Empoli. He was unusually fielded as a no.10, and he bagged a brace. He closed the year with 14 goals, just one shy of Kaká’s annual record for a Milan midfielder.

Stefano Pioli explained after the game how the idea was born: “Kessié is the best one at filling the box right now. Plus, I wanted to give a breather to Brahim Diaz.” The player commented: “This match needed versatility. We moved together as a team, and that is the only thing that matters.”

Kessié finished 2021 on a high note with the Milan jersey. However, his future at the club is very much up in the air, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports. There have been no talks to extend his expiring contract recently. The management does not seem keen on putting him up for sale in January. The coach, in particular, wants to rely on him for the rest of the season to fuel their title hopes. He often called him “a great professional” in recent pressers. The Rossoneri are four points behind Inter.

Ivory Coast has officially called up the 25-year-old for the African Cup of Nations. He will miss the next four Serie A games and potentially more, depending on what the COVID-19 protocols will be at the end of January. Kessié is likely to leave Milan next summer, with Tottenham and especially PSG as the favorite destinations. The French side has already offered him a seven-figure contract, Tuttomercatoweb informs.