Atalanta forward Alejandro “El Papu” Gomez was on Argentinian radio earlier this week when he either let a transfer secret slip or he’s spread false rumors regarding the future of his teammate, the highly coveted young midfielder Franck Kessie.
“I think they’ve sold him to Roma. But he’ll stay with Atalanta for another year.”
-Papu Gomez; source: Radio Closs Continental via Football Italia
This matches previous rumors, so there’s a chance that Papu’s just regurgitating what he’s read in the papers or what’s been rumored in the dressing room. But there’s also a chance that he knows some inside information, given that the deal concerns his teammate.
Stories at the end of the January transfer window claimed that Roma and Atalanta were close to an agreement that would allow Kessie to see out the season in Bergamo, then join Roma on loan with an mandatory buy-option of €25m.
Since the teammate let this information slip however, new rumors of AC Milan trying to gazump the deal have popped up, while supposed interest from the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal. Chelsea even had a similar €25m offer rejected, so this whole Roma-loan story remains a bit of a headscratcher.
Kessie started all three of Cote d’Ivoire’s matches at the Africa Cup of Nations last month, but received mixed reviews as the Elephants were eliminated after a disappointing group stage saw them collect just 1 point from the three games. He’s now back at Atalanta to anchor their surprising push towards the Serie A’s European places.