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Report: Spurs and AC Milan reach agreement for Kessie, but he won’t come in January

The problem is the player isn’t ready to sign quite yet.

Ivory Coast vs. Sierra Leone - Group E: African Cup of Nations 2021 Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

One of the strongest links Tottenham have had with a player during the January transfer window is for AC Milan and Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie. There’s both good news and bad news on that front.

The good news — according to two media sources in Italy (Calciomercato and TMW, via SportWitness), Tottenham and Milan have agreed on a fee to bring Kessie to North London before the January window closes. That’s good, right?

Well, that’s where the bad news comes in. AC Milan is keen to sell — and Spurs to buy — because Kessie is out of contract this summer, so Milan would rather receive some money for him than no money. But according to these Italian outlets, Kessie doesn’t want to move to Spurs in January, because free agency will give him many, many more options, both in where he wants to go and also his salary.

It sucks, but makes sense, and from a player agency perspective it’s 100% the right call to make. Kessie is away at AFCON at the moment but loses very little by sticking it out in Milan for another six months and then making an informed decision on his future without a contract around his neck. The article also notes that AC Milan is in the running to win the Scudetto, something that Kessie would like to be a part of.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t end up at Spurs. Maybe he will — Kessie reportedly was open to the idea earlier on and Spurs might just make him an offer he can’t refuse sometime this week, or just agree on a pre-contract for this summer. But this is a good example of how what’s good for two parties in a player transfer might not be in the best interest of the player.