According to a recent report in the Mirror, Arsenal have made contact with the representatives of Atalanta’s highly-rated midfielder Franck Kessie.

The 20-year-old Ivorian has made 19 appearances for Atalanta this term with seven goals and two assists to his name already. Unavailable during the first few weeks in January as a result of his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations, he returned during their 1-1 draw with Torino and continues to develop his reputation as a bonafide midfield starter within their current squad.

Atalanta will be undoubtedly keen to keep their man with the prospect of European football a real possibility next term, having rejected a £27m bid from Chelsea last month.

TURIN, ITALY – DECEMBER 03: Juventus’ Alex Sandro (L) attempts to tackle Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie during the Serie A match between the two sides at Juventus Stadium on December 3, 2016 in Turin, Italy.

So, where does Kessie’s future lie?

Kessie’s stock only continues to rise and his agent George Atangana told Calciomercato, “We have a lot of interest from the Premier League. Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal.”

It’s becoming increasingly likely that regardless of where they finish in the Serie A this season, they’ll be resigned to losing one of their key men to a bigger European club.

“I cannot say at this stage how much he will cost but we are talking about one of the best young players in the world. But for us the most important thing is that the technical project is the right one for him,” Atangana continued.

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If Arsenal are serious about signing Kessie, they will have to convince him he can get a place in their midfield. We have more than six senior players who can all play in a central or defensive-minded position when fit.

As a result, it’d be unsurprising to see a few summer departures if Kessie is top of the Gunners’ shortlist.

If…