ESPN staff 7y

Atalanta's Franck Kessie hoping to play for Manchester United one day

Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie says he is targeting a dream move to Manchester United in the future.

Kessie, 19, who spent last season on loan at Cesena in Serie B, has started the new campaign in impressive fashion for Serie A side Atalanta, scoring five goals in four matches.

But it is the Premier League where the Ivory Coast international wants to play next, following in the footsteps of his heroes Yaya Toure and Michael Essien.

"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.

"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."

Kessie said he almost came close to a summer move to the Premier League with Sunderland only to opt to remain in Serie A, while Juventus also wanted to sign him three years ago.

"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."

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