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Franck Kessie Set to Join Al Ahli in Saudi Arabia From Barcelona
- Franck Kessie is expected to leave Barcelona to join Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League
- The Ivorian spent one season in Spain and was frustrated by a lack of playing time
- Kessie will play alongside Riyad Mahrez and Roberto Firmino if he joins the Saudis
After one season in Spain with Barcelona, Cote d'Ivoire midfielder, Franck Kessie, is set to join Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League.
The team has already acquired the services of Riyad Mahrez, Roberto Firmino, Edouard Mendy, and Allan Saint-Maximin this summer.
The 26-year-old joined the Spanish giants last summer on a free transfer from AC Milan and did not play in Barcelona's last two pre-season games.
According to transfer guru, Fabrizio Romano, the Ivorian is expected to sign a three-year deal with Barcelona to receive €15 million in the process.
With the arrival of Ilkay Gundogan from Manchester City, Kessie would have a reduced role as it stands.
There was interest from Italy and England, but the midfielder is set to be the latest player from a top European club to move to the Saudi Pro League. He will reportedly earn €20mil per season.
Kessie's 2022/23 season for Barcelona
Kessie made 43 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions last season. However, 21 of his 28 La Liga appearances were from the bench.
The Catalans have not made a major signing this season, but with the sale of Kessie and Ousmane Dembele, they will have funds to strengthen their squad ahead of the 2023/24 season, per the Athletic.
In pre-season, the remarks of Barcelona coach, Xavi, suggested the midfielder was not in his plans.
“Franck did not play due to some slight discomfort. Regarding his future, I can say that he knows exactly what the situation is,” the manager said via Barca Blaugranes.
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Firmino scores on Al-Ahli debut
Meanwhile, Sports Brief reported on Roberto Firmino scoring a brace on his debut for Al-Ahli to help them win 18-0 against Austrian second-tier side, USV Stuhlfelden, in a pre-season friendly.
The Brazilian - who spent eight successful years at Liverpool - started up front for his new club, scoring the opening goal just five minutes into the contest. He scored his second after 14 minutes.