Barcelona have confirmed the signing of midfielder Franck Kessie on a free transfer from Italian champions AC Milan, the club announced on Monday.

Kessie, 25, has joined Barca on a four-year deal after his contract expired with Milan on June 30.

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The Ivory Coast international’s move to Camp Nou ends his five-year stay at the Rossoneri where he made 224 appearances and scored 39 goals.

He becomes Barca’s first signing of what is expected to be a busy summer, with Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen set to become the second in the coming days.

Kessie strengthens coach Xavi Hernandez’s options in midfield and will compete for a place in the team with Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez.

Barca could be without another midfield option in Frenkie de Jong as he edges closer to a deal to join Manchester United this summer.

However, club president Joan Laporta has said Barca have no intention in letting the Dutch international leave Camp Nou.

If De Jong does leave, sources have told ESPN the club will target WolvesRuben Neves and Real Sociedad‘s Martin Zubimendi with an eye on replacing Sergio Busquets long-term.

After moving to Italy with Atalanta in 2015 and following a loan spell with Cesena, Kessie joined Milan on loan in 2017 before making the move permanently in 2019.

He played a central role this season as Milan won a first Serie A title in 11 years, scoring six times in 31 appearances, including one against Sassuolo last weekend as the league was wrapped up.

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