Barcelona to sign Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen & AC Milan’s Franck Kessie – Guillem Balague

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Barcelona have agreed deals to sign Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie on free transfers when their contracts expire in June, says Guillem Balague.

The Spanish club are also in talks with Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta over a free transfer this summer.

Club president Joan Laporta confirmed Barca had signed two players, but would not name them.

“We’ve completed two signings for the next season,” he said.

Speaking to Catalan radio station Rac1, Laporta added: “One is a midfielder, the other one is a centre-back. But I’m not allowed to mention their names.”

Kessie has played 215 times for AC Milan since moving from Atalanta in 2017 but announced earlier this season that he did not intend to sign a new deal with the Italian club.

Denmark international Christensen has made 156 appearances for Chelsea since joining from Danish side Brondby as a 16-year-old in 2012.

Like Christensen, Blues captain Azpilicueta is out of contract at the end of the season.

Chelsea are unable to offer new deals to players because of sanctions placed on owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

All three players have been able to discuss terms with foreign-based clubs since they moved into the final six months of their contracts in January.

Balague, BBC Sport’s European football expert, says Barca are also targeting Leeds forward Raphinha and have an agreement with the player, but the Yorkshire club have asked to delay talks over a fee until next month so they can focus on their battle against relegation from the Premier League.

Should Raphinha move to the Nou Camp then France forward Ousmane Dembele will likely leave, with Paris Saint-Germain the favourites to sign the former Borussia Dortmund player.

The club are keen to turn Adama Traore’s loan from Wolves into a permanent move and will likely use Trincao, who is on a season-long loan at Molineux, as part of a swap deal.

However, Barca are not in the running for prolific Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland, who is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Barcelona considered a deal for Haaland but they could not match the numbers put on the table by Real Madrid and Manchester City.

BBC

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