Speaking in an interview with Calciomercato, George Atangana, the agent of Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie, has rubbished claims that the Ivorian could leave the club the in January transfer window.
The 25-year-old midfielder joined Barcelona in the summer transfer window, arriving as a free agent after his contract with AC Milan had run down. Kessie has found it difficult to break into Xavi Hernandez’s starting XI since joining the club.
Given his lack of game-time (just five starts in all competitions), speculations that Kessie is frustrated with his situation and is looking for a way out have been doing the rounds for some time now.
In fact, several outlets even suggested that Kessie’s agent had been offering him to clubs in Italy, including Inter Milan and AC Milan. However, Atangana has issued a clarification on the situation, insisting that there is no truth to these claims and that Kessie is happy at Barcelona.
“Franck has never been as happy as he is now. He has achieved a goal that for many footballers remains just a dream, which is to play for Barcelona, and I defy anyone to say otherwise,” Atangana said
When asked if Kessie had found it difficult to adjust to the city of Barcelona, he added: “Football has always taken him to wonderful cities: Cesena, Bergamo, Milan, and now Barcelona. All places where he and his family have found and are finding themselves wonderfully.”
During the interview, Atangana also explained Kessie’s decision to join Barcelona in the summer when he had a pick of clubs, saying:
“It came after seven years in which Franck proved his worth in Italy. Franck has grown, matured, and earned everyone’s approval. The Barcelona call was a logical consequence of all this and we have always been faithful to our plans.”
On the situation regarding his client’s reduced game-time, Atangana added: “Nothing that we hadn’t already foreseen. It is clear that with time he expects to get more and more into the mechanisms, but we arrived in Spain and here the philosophy is different.
Franck is adapting to a type of football that is new to him, he has always played in a different way. But this is certainly not what frightens him, on the contrary, these are all stimuli that are part of a process of growth.
“It is only a matter of time and we are calm because the only fundamental aspect that concerns us is the consideration the club has for Franck. Everyone at Barcelona is very happy with the player.”
Talking about the relationship between Kessie and Barcelona manager Xavi, Atangana insisted that there was mutual respect between the two, saying:
“I have never found a coach who has come to me to complain about Franck. He has always received human and professional respect from his coaches and that is what is still happening today at Barcelona with Xavi.”
Kessie is currently recovering from an injury he suffered in Barcelona’s final UEFA Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen. It remains to be seen if he is fit in time for the club’s first match after the World Cup break against RCD Espanyol.