Manchester United have earmarked a possible replacement for Paul Pogba if he decides to leave the club on a free next summer.
AC Milan’s Franck Kessie has also run down his contract and would be available for nothing, with clubs able to negotiate with him from January.
United would face stiff competition from some of Europe’s elite clubs for his signature, namely PSG, Barcelona, Liverpool, and Tottenham.
Spanish Newspaper Mundo Deportivo first reported the news.
The 24-year-old first made his name in Serie A with Atalanta, breaking into their first team in 16/17 and becoming an integral part of Gian Piero Gasperini’s side.
A move to Milan soon followed, a two-year loan with an obligation to buy for around £21.6 million being agreed in the summer of 2017.
Since then, the Ivory Coast international has racked up 187 appearances while notching 30 goals and 15 assists from the centre of midfield.
And last season proved to be his most eye-catching to date, firing I Rossoneri back into the Champions League for the first time in eight years, while contributing 20 goal involvements, the highest of his career to date.
But the all action midfielder has rejected a number of contract renewals from the Milan based club, wanting at least eight million euros a year to re-sign.
Milan may decide to cash in in January in order to recoup even a small portion of the fee they paid with the departure of Gianluigi Donnarumma still fresh in their memory.
Despite reports emerging that Pogba may be interested in renewing his contract at Old Trafford his future still hangs very much in the balance.
And if the opportunity to sign Kessie for free arose United would be silly not to consider adding him to their threadbare midfield.