CHELSEA will reportedly try and include Franck Kessie in any deal which sees Tiemoue Bakayoko join AC Milan permanently.
The Frenchman moved to Stamford Bridge for £40million in 2017 but failed to impress at his new club so was shipped out on loan to AC.
After a patchy start plagued with errors, Bakayoko, 24, has developed into a key figure for Gennaro Gattuso this season.
He has started every game since October 31 except the one match he missed through suspension.
And for that reason, the San Siro giants are considering making the loan deal permanent at the end of the season.
But according to Corriere dello Sport, Chelsea will insist on getting someone in return.
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That someone is understood to be Kessie, the Ivorian midfielder.
He is coming towards the end of a two-year loan at AC Milan but the Italian side have an obligation to buy him at the end of the season from Atalanta for around £24m.
But unfortunately for Kessie and Gattuso, they may be forced into selling him straight away this summer in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
Kessie, 22, and Bakayoko have been regulars together alongside Lucas Paqueta in a three-man midfield for much of the season.
Chelsea and Tottenham are understood to be interested in Kessie, who has three goals in Serie A this season and is highly regarded within the club and across Italy.
The Offside writer Marco Gerges said: “Selling Franck Kessie isn’t going to be a wise move. Clubs such as Chelsea – who cut Gonzalo Higuain’s loan at AC Milan short to get him to Stamford Bridge – and Tottenham are in line to sign him, Milan has a jewel at the club that isn’t properly appreciated.
“The former Atalanta man could develop into one of the best players in the world. All of Europe is aware of his talent and elite clubs are willing to spend a lot of money to secure his signature.
“AC Milan need to keep Kessie for as long as possible, he is a key player at the club and will continue to benefit the team for the years to come.”