Roma step up Kessie chase despite Man Utd dream

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The Ivory Coast international admitted earlier this year he would love a move to Old Trafford, but Luciano Spalletti's side have shown interest

Roma are stepping up their efforts to sign in-demand midfielder Franck Kessie, according to his current club Atalanta.

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Kessie said last month he is dreaming of a move to Manchester United after Jose Mourinho's side and Chelsea were both reported to have an interest in the 20-year-old.

Roma have also been linked with the Ivory Coast international for some time and Atalanta general manager Luca Percassi has revealed Luciano Spalletti's men have made their desire to land him known.

"Roma are very, very interested in our player Kessie," he said to Radio Anch'io.

"Roma are an important team that is interested. They see him as a versatile player, as he is proving on the pitch every week.

"We have a lot of requests for him and [Alejandro] Gomez."

Atalanta – who have surprised Serie A this season with a strong challenge for European qualification - are not worried about losing their players to bigger clubs, after Mattia Caldara and Roberto Gagliardini were signed by Juventus and Inter respectively.

"For us, it is a source of great satisfaction that Atalanta is a springboard for players to move to the best teams," added Percassi.

"We have to respect our means. It would be unnatural for us not to accept significant transfers. To see Gagliardini going to a great team is a source of pride and satisfaction for us and gives strength to our philosophy and the whole environment at the club."

United defender Eric Bailly reportedly recommended Kessie to Mourinho after playing alongside him at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Kessie said last month: "I love the Premier League and Manchester United in particular, the team for whom I dream of playing."

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