Reports: Pochettino is crazy about enforcer, Tottenham £20m bid hits stumbling block
By Harry Sykes
Tottenham have gone “crazy” for Atalanta midfield enforcer Franck Kessie, according to a report.
Sky Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed on his website that Spurs are one of the two “most interested” clubs in signing the Ivory Coast international.
It is said that Everton are also strongly pursuing Kessie, while Arsenal and Liverpool have made enquiries for him.
Less than 24 hours later, Italian transfer site Calcio Mercato reported that Spurs have tabled a bid of nearly £20million for the 19-year-old.
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However, Di Marzio now reports that there is a major stumbling block to Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino or any of his Premier League counterparts completing the signing of Kessie.
It is said that new regulations mean the midfield anchorman would not currently be able to gain a work permit due to the fact he has only earned 10 international caps for the Ivory Coast.
However, salvation could come for Kessie or his suitors in the January window, when he is set to line up for his country in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Di Marzio reports that the Atalanta midfielder could gain a permit if he plays the required number of matches for Ivory Coast next month.
Pochettino has made a reported move for Kessie despite buying Victor Wanyama from Southampton in the summer and also having Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier and Harry Winks, 20, at his disposal.
Kessie signed a new contract in August that ties him Atalanta until the summer of 2021.
The Serie A midfield enforcer, who can also slot in at centre-back, has earned rave reviews for his performances this season.
He has been a mainstay for Atalanta, scoring an impressive six goals and supplying two assists from 16 appearances in all competitions and spread across 1405 minutes of action.
Kessie spent last season on loan at Serie B club Cesena, scoring four goals and providing two assists in 37 appearances from midfield.
In other Tottenham transfer news, fans have reacted after the club agreed the terms of a 21-year-old move in January.