Barcelona seal double swoop for Kessie, Christensen

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AC Milan's Frank Kessie celebrates his second goal during a Serie A football match between Atalanta and AC Milan in Bergamo, Italy, May 23, 2021. (Xinhua/Stringer)

FC Barcelona confirmed midfielder Franck Kessie and defender Andreas Christensen their first signings for the new season within hours on Monday.

Kessie arrives on a free transfer from AC Milan and will sign a contract until the end of June 2026 with a release clause of 500 million euros.

The 25-year-old joins Barca after five seasons with AC Milan, whom he helped win last season's Serie A after an 11-year wait. Kessie netted a total of 39 goals in 224 appearances for the Italian club and is an effective taker of free kicks and penalties.

The Cote d'Ivoire international can play on the right of midfield or in a holding role, and is the first player for his country to join Barca since Yaya Toure, who spent three successful campaigns at Camp Nou before joining Manchester City in 2010.

Christensen is another player who joins on a free transfer after running down his contract with Chelsea.

The 26-year-old Danish international has also signed until the end of June 2026 with a release clause of 500 million euros.

Christensen will provide cover for the likely departures of French duo Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet, both of whom look set to leave in the near future. Christensen will compete with Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo for a place in Barca's starting lineup, where his ability to play the ball out of defense will be an important asset to the club. 

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