Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez insists that midfielder Franck Kessie remains an important part of his squad, despite transfer links to Inter.

The Ivory Coast international joined Barcelona from AC Milan on a free transfer last summer but has struggled to establish himself at the Camp Nou in his debut season, and has been paired with a return to Serie A and Inter, potentially in an exchange for Marcelo Brozovic.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Barcelona’s La Liga clash against Getafe earlier today, and as reported by, the former Spain international was adamant that Kessie was coming good after a period of adaptation.

“Franck is an important player, dynamic, physical, with goals,” Xavi claimed.

“He has taken a step forward. It is not easy to adapt to another philosophy of play. It happened to [Eric] Abidal, [Seydou] Keita, Yaya Touré. He is adapting very well. He must confirm the level shown in Ceuta.”

Whilst suggesting that Kessie would remain with the Catalan club, Xavi also claimed that Barcelona’s transfer business this month would be limited, and the likes of Brozovic would not be incoming at this point.

“If we were able to strengthen ourselves, it would be better, but right now we depend solely and exclusively on Financial Fair Play. For now, things are difficult.”

Kessie spent six seasons at Milan after joining from Atalanta in 2017, and helped the Rossoneri win the Serie A title before his departure last year.

The 26-year-old has made eight appearances in La Liga for Barcelona this term, in addition to featuring six times in the Champions League.