OFFICIAL : Al-Ahli has confirmed the signing of Kessie from Barcelona
Franck Kessie has officially signed for Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Ahli from Barcelona. The Saudi side will pay £10.8million for the 26-year-old, who had been subject to interest from several top English clubs this summer including Tottenham and Liverpool.
Kessie becomes the fifth player to join Al-Ahli from a European side after ex-Premier League players Riyad Mahrez, Roberto Firmino, Edouard Mendy and Alain Saint-Maximin.
Al-Ahli are part of the Saudi Public Investment fund (PIF) alongside league champions Al-Ittihad, Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal.
PIF is run by Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, as a way of diversifying the country’s economy and cut down their reliance on oil as a main source of income
The firm owns 75% of all four clubs while their non-profit foundations own the other 25% of each. Before joining Al-Ahli, Kessie was heavily linked with a move to Tottenham.
Spurs had made an approach for the Ivory Coast international in January but he rejected the advancement as he wanted to fight for his place in Xavi Hernandez’s side.
Kessie continued to struggle to establish himself as a regular starter in Catalonia and was subsequently linked with a move to north London again.
However, no official bid came from Spurs despite reportedly being keen on acquiring his services.