Barcelona's fortunes have been soaring in recent weeks with Xavi Hernandez's team in a rich vein of form, but the club is still keen to strengthen the team ahead of next season. The Catalan giants' ongoing financial troubles have forced them to scour the free agent market to get an edge over their rivals.

A number of top quality players are nearing the end of their deals this summer, and Barcelona are keen to take advantage. The La Liga giants have already convinced Andreas Christensen to sign for the club when his contract with Chelsea expires in June, and they have now landed AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.

The Ivory Coast international has been on top of Xavi's wanted list to bolster his midfield, and Barcelona have now won the race for his signature. Kessie's contract expires in June, and he has made it clear that he will not sign an extension with the San Siro club after five seasons in Milan.

Franck Kessie
Franck Kessie of AC Milan Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

According to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Kessie has reached an agreement with Barcelona, and has even completed his medical. The Ivorian will earn €6.5 million annually and is expected to put pen-to-paper on a four year deal in the coming weeks.

Xavi is said to have played a major role in convincing Kessie to choose the Camp Nou over other interested suitors. The 25-year-old was courted by a number of clubs across Europe including the Premier League. The Milan midfielder reportedly turned down a much bigger pay day to play under the Spanish manager.

Kessie joined Milan from Atalanta on an initial loan deal, which was then made permanent in 2019. He remains a key player under Stefano Pioli as the Rossoneri chase the Serie A title - where they are currently three points clear of Napoli at the top of the table.

Newly-appointed Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez (right) alongside club president Joan Laporta at Camp Nou on Monday. LLUIS GENE/AFP