Barcelona’s search for a defensive midfielder is an open secret at this point. With Sergio Busquets ready to leave the club in the summer of 2023, the Blaugranes are left without a replacement in his position.
A fair few players have been linked to Barcelona over the last months, including, and not limited to Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Ruben Neves and Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi.
Now it seems they are taking their search deeper into the Prem, with a report from Calcio Mercato claiming that Barcelona are planning a swap feal with Aston Villa involving Douglas Luiz and Franck Kessie.
Kessie has found it very difficult to settle into Barça’s setup so far this season. As such, it is not surprising to see him on the exit ramp already. Previous reports have also stated that the likes of Fulham and Villa are interested in the Ivorian, and ready to offer €22 million and €14 million, respectively.
The Catalans want to make the most out of Villa’s interest in Kessie, and are also ready to offer cash in the exchange deal to get Luiz’s signature.
They are not alone in the pursuit, though, with AC Milan and Juventus monitoring the Brazilian midfielder.
As for Kessie, his agent has confirmed that the player has no intention to leave the Catalan setup this early, and that he is still in his ‘adaptation stages’.
“Kessie is very happy at Barça and at Barcelona. He’s only been at the club for a few months and he’s still in the process of adapting to the team and the Barça style of play, which has nothing to do with the rest of the clubs, and, therefore, it takes time.”
“Kessie will continue working to earn a place on the team. He is not a player who gives up easily. He had other offers in the summer and bet heavily on Barça,” he added.
He is one of the very few players from Barcelona not travelling to Qatar for the World Cup, and has more than a month to return from injury and try his best to learn as much possible from Xavi during this time.