No one wants Kessie?!

16

Arsenal have been priced out of a move for AC Milan star Franck Kessie, according to reports in Italy. Kessie was a top target for Arsenal towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign and the club have renewed their interest in the 23-year-old with just over a fortnight remaining of the January transfer window. The Ivory Coast international has caught the eye in an otherwise under-performing AC Milan side this season and Arsenal have made tentative enquiries over a possible deal. West Ham have also been weighing up a move for the former Atalanta midfielder. However, Milan are demanding a fee of at least €25million (£21m) for Kessie which the Gunners deem excessive, according to Sky Sport Italia. Arsenal’s main priority has been to strengthen in central defence, with Jerome Boateng, Nathan Ake and John Stones all linked following Calum Chambers’ season-ending knee injury.At his press conference on Wednesday, Mikel Arteta denied the reports surrounding Stones and Kessie but hinted Arsenal’s injuries at centre-back could ‘modify’ the club’s transfer plans. ‘No truth at all in John Stones. No truth in Franck Kessie,’ the Spaniard said. ‘John is a player I really like. When I look at centre-backs he’s got many attributes I like but I’m not looking at him.’ Asked whether Arsenal are on the lookout for defensive reinforcements, Arteta replied: ‘Yeah we have a lot of injuries at the back. ‘The fact as well that Calum [Chambers] got the big injury. Obviously that is modifying our plans. ‘It’s what we have, it’s the situation, this can happen.Between December and January it’s very common. We have to live with it, this is what we have. ‘We have to put 11 players out on the pitch on Saturday and I’m sure we will. They will try their best and I will try to select the ones that are in my opinion the best fit for the game.’