After just one year at Barça: Kessié moves to Al-Ahli

After just one year at Barça: Kessié moves to Al-Ahli

Only last July, FC Barcelona signed Franck Kessié on a free transfer from then reigning Serie A champions AC Milan – including a 500 million euro clause. But just a year later, the 26-year-old found himself on the sporting sidelines with the Catalans. What had been speculated in the international media for some time has now become official: Kessié is leaving Blaugrana despite a contract until 2026 and is moving to Al-Ahli, where the Ivorian signed a contract valid until 2026.

The new player was announced with a black and white video clip on the club’s social channels. Inside you can see an office, a pin board and several Polaroid pictures with impressions from Kessié’s career. At the end it says that his “job is not yet done” – and that he should now go on the road for Al-Ahli and give everything.

Quite curious: Although Kessié only came to Barcelona a year ago as a regular Milan fixture, the midfield clearer has not played a role since the summer break. “I spoke to him and he knows his situation very well,” said coach Xavi in ​​early July of the midfielder, who initially made no move to quickly find a new club.

Transfer fee in the double-digit million range: Kessié follows Firmino, Mahrez & Co.

Now, about a month later, the 26-year-old came to an agreement with the promoted team in Saudi Arabia’s premier league. The transfer fee should be at least 12.5 to around 15 million euros. Overall, including salary for the professional, the deal is worth 60 million euros.

It is also clear that the Saudi Arabian club, like some of its league competitors, has been causing a stir for weeks with well-known transfers. In addition to coach Matthias Jaissle, Al-Ahli had already attracted a prominent quartet from the Premier League to the desert location in Edouard Mendy, Allan Saint-Maximin, Riyad Mahrez and Roberto Firmino this summer.

Kessié came to Italy from his home country – the Ivory Coast – to Atalanta Bergamo in 2015. After a loan spell at FC Cesena, the Ivorian made his breakthrough at La Dea in the 2016/17 season. In the summer of 2017, Milan finally secured the services of the midfielder, who played a total of 205 competitive games (36 goals) for the Rossoneri in five years.

With the end of his contract and the Scudetto in his luggage, the Ivorian said goodbye to the Lombards in the direction of Barcelona last summer. After 36 appearances and two goals in the past La Liga season, this chapter for Kessié ended abruptly after just over a year – the next one will follow in Saudi Arabia. Because, according to Al-Ahli: “Job not done yet.”


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