Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie has been in the news quite a lot in recent weeks as speculations over his future at the club have been doing the rounds.
The 25-year-old has found it difficult to break into Xavi Hernandez’s side at Spotify Camp Nou since his summer transfer from AC Milan. That, coupled with Barça’s need to offload players in January, resulted in rumours that Kessie could be allowed to leave.
The speculations only intensified after the midfielder’s agent, George Atangana, met with Barcelona director Mateu Alemany earlier this week. A move back to Italy was speculated while Tottenham had been mentioned as a possible destination as well.
However, according to the latest update from AS, Kessie will not be leaving Barcelona in the winter window after Xavi met with the midfielder this week and assured him that he continues to count on his services.
Since joining from Milan, the Ivory Coast international has started just two matches for Barcelona in La Liga, with the likes of Gavi, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Indeed, Kessie is fifth on the list of the least-used players by Xavi across all competitions this term, with only Inaki Pena, Pablo Torre, Memphis Depay and Hector Bellerin playing fewer minutes than him.
However, the manager has provided the midfielder reassurances that it is only natural for a new player to take time to adapt to the methods and philosophies at Barcelona and that the season is long and he will get his opportunities over time.
The 42-year-old tactician assured his ward that the coaching staff continues to have faith in him and will have chances to prove himself at Barça.
Kessie, for his part, was said to be keen on staying put at Spotify Camp Nou despite the non-stop exit speculations. Now, following the talks with Xavi, a mid-season exit for the Ivorian looks to be off the table.
However, Barcelona will need to move some players off the books in the winter to sign new ones. And Memphis Depay is one of the favourites to depart the club as things stand.