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AS Roma set to beat out Chelsea, others to Atalanta’s Kessie in most complicated deal — report

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AS Roma have emerged just a few days ago as serious contenders for the signature of Franck Kessie, but their head coach was already talking about him in a press conference and if the latest reports and rumors out of Italy are to be believed, they may be closer than any other team linked so far with the 20-year-old midfield breakout star.

The deal, as reported by Corriere dello Sport sounds complicated even by Italian standards. It goes a little something like this: Roma and Atalanta agree on a deal now, but Kessie sees out the season with the latter before joining the former in the summer, but technically only on loan. Roma then have until the summer of 2018 to pay the €25m transfer fee. There’s also a youth prospect to be named later going in the opposite direction.

If none of that makes any sense to you, you’re not alone. Beyond just the overly elaborate arrangements, the €25m fee is ridiculous considering that Atalanta had supposedly rejected bids of £20m and £27m from Chelsea and were supposedly holding out for €40m.

Maybe Roma are getting some sort of local discount. Or maybe the fees are more involved than that. Either way, this isn’t the last twist in the tale, I don’t think.