Franck Kessie
Kessie is eyeing a future move to the Premier League. Getty Images

Ivory Coast and Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie has outlined his desire to one day join Manchester United, regardless of whether Jose Mourinho is still at the club or not.

The 19-year-old is one of the rising stars of the game and is embarking on his second campaign in Italy after moved to Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia last summer.

Kessie was loaned out to Cesena to gain first team experience last term, making 37 appearances and scoring four goals during the 2015/16 season with the Serie B side.

The holding midfielder has returned to Atalanta and gone straight into Gian Piero Gasperini's first team, playing each of the club's four matches and has already netted five times this term.

But despite the meteoric rise Kessie has no plan to rest on his laurels and is targeting a future move to United, such is his confidence. Already capped five times by his country Kessie says a move to the Premier League would be a dream having supported the club as a youngster.

"My idols are Yaya Toure and Essien. I was told that I have to work very hard to reach a big level," Kessie told Sky Italia, according to ESPN. "Now I want to learn Italian tactics but in the future, I like the Premier League. I'd like to play for Manchester United. I don't know if [Jose] Mourinho will be there, but Manchester United has always been my favourite team."

In the summer, defender Eric Bailly became the first player from the Ivory Coast to join United when he signed from Villarreal. Five players to hail from Africa have represented the club, with Quinton Fortune, Eric Djemba-Djemba, Manucho and Mame Biram Diouf among them.

The 2013 Under-17 World Cup saw Kessie rise to prominence after he played a starring role in helping his team reach the quarter-finals. He netted in both knock-out matches against Morocco and then Argentina and says after the tournament he could have joined Juventus, but preferred a transfer to AC Milan.

"In 2013 – after the Under-17 World Cup – Juventus wanted me, but I had watched AC Milan and I loved [Andriy] Shevchenko," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "During the summer I was close to Sunderland, but then I preferred Serie A to the Premier League because in Italy it's possible to learn tactics. I hope I will play in England in my future, but not for now."