Barça formalizes the signings of Kessié and Christensen

Franck Kessié drives a ball against Aurélien Tchouaméni during a friendly between Ivory Coast and France. / Benoit Tessier (Reuters)

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The Ivorian midfielder and the Danish defender, who arrive on a free transfer from Milan and Chelsea, sign until 2026 and will have identical termination clauses of 500 million euros

Franck Kessié and Andreas Christensen are Barça's first signings for next season. The club chaired by Joan Laporta has made official this Monday the signings of the Ivorian midfielder and the Danish defender, who arrive on a free transfer after completing their spells with Milan and Chelsea, respectively, and sign until June 30, 2026. Both will have release clauses. termination of 500 million euros and will be presented on Wednesday and Thursday at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper.

After activating the first of the famous levers with the sale of 10% of its television rights for the next 25 years, Barça begins to move to provide Xavi Hernández with a competitive squad with which to face the challenges that the team culé will face the coming campaign. The first pieces in this reconstruction of Barça are the additions of Kessié and Christensen. The arrival of both players was an open secret for months that has become official once the contracts of the players with their clubs have been concluded until now.

Kessie, 25, is a powerful holding midfielder who made the leap to Europe in the summer of 2014, when he joined Atalanta. The Bergamasco club loaned him first to Cesena and later to Milan, where he managed to establish himself in elite football thanks to his great capacity for deployment and tactical sense. He played a total of 223 games with the Rossoneri shirt throughout the five seasons he spent in the capital of Piedmont, scoring 37 goals and dishing out 16 assists. Some numbers that account for his ability to arrive from the second line, despite being a pivot.

Capable of contributing both defensively and offensively, Kessié is a great ball-catcher who closed his time at Milan in style, winning Serie A last season under Stefano Pioli. Capped 58 times by the Ivory Coast national team, he offers a good complement to Sergio Busquets in the axis of the Barça midfield, since he can function as a pivot but also as an inside player with a lot of mobility.

For his part, Christensen arrives at the Camp Nou as a reinforcement of guarantees for a defensive line that has been almost a black hole in the Barça team in recent times. The Danish defender has been a rotation player at Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea and although he has not become indisputable at Stamford Bridge, he arrives endorsed by 161 duels in five seasons with the 'blue' shirt and a previous stage at the London club, with which he debuted before his two-year loan to Borussia Mönchengladbach between 2015 and 2017.

A remarkable ability to get the ball played, a quality highly valued at Can Barça, and six titles during his time at Chelsea (Champions. Europa League, Club World Cup, European Super Cup, Premier League and FA Cup) give luster to a incorporation necessary for the Barça defense, which incorporates a footballer who also boasts 57 international caps with the Danish national team, capable of reaching the semifinals of the last European Championship.

Waiting for Lewandowski

Apart from the arrivals of Kessié and Christensen, which had already been confirmed by Laporta last weekend, Barça continues to work on its great goal this summer, which is none other than the Polish Robert Lewandowski. Despite the fact that Bayern Munich have already rejected two offers for the striker, Laporta is still hoping to secure a key operation to give Xavi the punch that Barça missed so much during the last season.

On Mateu Alemany's table are also the names of the Brazilian Rapinha, from Leeds. and the Spaniards César Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, the latter two belonging to Chelsea.

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