AC MILAN midfielder Franck Kessie is in talks to join Real Madrid at the end of the season when his contract expires, reports suggest.
The news comes as a blow to Liverpool and Tottenham, who had both shown interest in the 25-year-old midfielder.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has sent representatives to Milan in a bid to wrap up a pre-contract agreement for the Ivory Coast international, according to Spanish outlet El Nacional.
Negotiations between the two parties are thought to be 'speeding up' as Perez looks to fight off interest from elsewhere.
It's claimed Barcelona too are keen on snapping up Kessie, with the club also in contact with Kessie's agents.
A new deal at San Siro is not on the cards, so the two La Liga giants are facing a battle to land the highly rated Kessie.
But the central midfielder is thought to be a 'perfect fit' for the Premier League, and Kessie is not short of suitors in England.
Liverpool have previously been linked with Kessie, having failed to replace Georginio Wijnaldum after he moved to PSG in the summer.
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And the Reds are even claimed to have made a 'very interesting' offer for the AC Milan star.
There is also competition in the form of Tottenham, with Antonio Conte in the market for a midfielder this month.
Although Real Madrid and Barcelona seem to be in pole position for his signature.
Madrid's midfield trio of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are all in the latter stages of their glittering careers, and the club are eyeing Kessie as a replacement.
Eduardo Camavinga was recruited in the summer as the club plan for the future.
On the other hand Kessie fits the bill perfectly for Barcelona by being available on a free transfer in the summer.
The cash-strapped club have already splashed £55million on Ferran Torres this window.
And a free transfer for Kessie would also allow the club to pursue alternative targets.
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