Barcelona announce Kessie & Christensen deals

On Monday, Barcelona added Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen to its midfield and defense.

Kessie, 25, who has been with AC Milan since 2017, joins as a free agent with a deal until June 2026 and a buyout clause of 500 million euros ($522 million).

Christensen joins the club when his contract with Chelsea expired. His contract runs through 2026 and has the same buyout provision as Kessie’s.

Andreas Christensen

On Wednesday, Kessie will be formally unveiled. The Ivory Coast midfielder will be the club’s second Ivorian player, after Yaya Touré in the late 2000s.

Christensen, 26, will be unveiled on Thursday. The Danish center defender joined Chelsea’s junior teams in 2012 and spent time in the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach before returning to Chelsea.

Christensen was a member of the Danish national team that advanced to the semifinals of the 2020 European Championship after helping Chelsea win the Champions League, Europa League, and Club World Cup.

Barcelona described him as a “strong and visionary center defender who is superb in the air” and a “technically skilled with the ball at his feet, an ideal match” for the Catalan club.

Kessie has made 58 international appearances for his country and represented Ivory Coast in the Olympic semifinals in Tokyo.

Kessie went to Italy in 2014 to join Atalanta, where he played in the club’s minor groups before joining Cesena on loan. He was finally brought back to Atalanta by coach Gian Piero Gasperini, and he scored twice on his Serie A debut in 2016.

Franck Kessie

Kessie joined Milan on loan in 2017 and secured a permanent deal in 2019 for 33 million euros ($34.5 million). This year, he helped AC Milan win its first championship in 11 years. Kessie scored 45 goals in six seasons with Atalanta and Milan.

Kessie was described as “the whole package” and a “strong midfielder with tactical knowledge” by Barcelona.

“Kessie is a player who contributes both offensively and defensively,” the club added. “Capable of winning the ball back in midfield, the African midfielder also boasts remarkable goal-scoring figures, thanks in part to his ability to make runs into the penalty area.”

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