Liverpool plot bid to trump Chelsea & Everton to Serie A starlet

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Liverpool have joined Chelsea and Everton in the race to sign Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie, with the Reds believed to have sent a scouting party to this month’s African Cup of Nations to run the rule over the Ivorian.

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The powerful box-to-box midfielder has enjoyed a stunning start to the Serie A season, sparking interest from across Europe after helping the Nerazzurri to an impressive sixth-place in the table at the time of writing. Chelsea have been engaged in negotiations to bring the 20-year-old to England for some time, while Everton have purportedly already seen a bid in the region of £15 million rejected for his services.

Scudetto holders Juventus have also been credited with an interest in his signature, but reports stemming from Italy suggest that Liverpool could emerge as frontrunners. Reds delegates are headed to Gabon to watch the youngster in action for his country at AFCON, and Corriere dello Sport (via Metro) claims that the Anfield club are willing to match Atalanta’s £35m valuation of Kessie.

Despite this, a summer move still looks far more likely for the Ivorian, with the Nerazzurri insistent that he will remain at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia until the end of the current season at the earliest.

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With Kessie’s former midfield partner Roberto Gagliardini having recently signed for Internazionale on loan, the Bergamo-based outfit would be loath to lose another key player during a campaign in which European qualification remains a distinct possibility.

As such, it seems as though all offers will be rejected until the summer, when Liverpool will lead the glut of clubs coveting one of the continent’s brightest young talents.

Supporters will get an opportunity to see the 20-year-old play in Ivory Coast’s opening AFCON game against Togo on Monday afternoon.

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